Friday, April 3, 2009

Breaking News from IOWA

Marriage equality in Iowa!

Marriage Equality in the Heartland

by: Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend

Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 08:00:00 AM EDT

Read the entire opinion here --+

Marriage equality comes to the heartland! . . . Fundies will go APESH*T! So much for blaming the coastal liberal radical homosexuals for this one. Des Moines Register:
The Iowa Supreme Court this morning struck down a 1998 state law that limits marriage to one man and one woman.

The ruling is viewed as a victory for the gay rights movement in Iowa and elsewhere, and a setback for social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families.

...Richard Socarides, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay civil rights, said today's decision could set the stage for other states. Socarides was was a senior political assistant for Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin in the early 1990s.

"I think it's significant because Iowa is considered a Midwest sate in the mainstream of American thought," Socarides said. "Unlike states on the coasts, there's nothing more American than Iowa. As they say during the presidential caucuses, 'As Iowa goes, so goes the nation.'"

And the rumbling is already beginning -- the Republicans want to take up an amendment in the lege."If you'll remember when we proposed the Iowa marriage amendment, the Democrats' excuse for not taking it up was that it was in the hands of the Iowa Supreme Court," Senate Republican leader Paul McKinley of Chariton said Friday. "It was implied that should they find against traditional marriage, that the Legislature would handle that. I would certainly hope they'll keep their promise."

Highlights from the court opinion:

All Justices concurred-- – it was a
unanimous decision !

[The Court considered the] five primary “interests of society” advanced [by the proponents of one man one woman marriage] in support of the legislature’s exclusive definition of marriage. The first three interests are broadly related to the advancement of child rearing. Specifically, the objectives centered on promoting
procreation, promoting child rearing by a mother and a father within a
marriage, and promoting stability in an opposite-sex relationship to raise
and nurture children. The fourth interest raised by the County addressed
the conservation of state resources, while the final reason concerned the
governmental interest in promoting the concept and integrity of the
traditional notion of marriage.

[In finding none of the reasons for denying marriage equality legally valid, the court stated, in conclusion:]

In the final analysis, we give respect to the views of all Iowans on the
issue of same-sex marriage—religious or otherwise—by giving respect to our
constitutional principles. These principles require that the state recognize
both opposite-sex and same-sex civil marriage. Religious doctrine and views
contrary to this principle of law are unaffected, and people can continue to
associate with the religion that best reflects their views. A religious
denomination can still define marriage as a union between a man and a
woman, and a marriage ceremony performed by a minister, priest, rabbi, or
other person ordained or designated as a leader of the person’s religious
faith does not lose its meaning as a sacrament or other religious institution.
The sanctity of all religious marriages celebrated in the future will have the
same meaning as those celebrated in the past. The only difference is civil
marriage will now take on a new meaning that reflects a more complete
understanding of equal protection of the law. This result is what our
constitution requires.


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