Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

April 3rd, 2009

The Iowa Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages was supposed to have been released twenty minutes ago, but the web site is down. But word is that the state Supreme Court has affirmed the lower court ruling. That lower court rulled that Iowa’s marriage law’s exclusion of same-sex couples was unconstitutional.  According to the Des Moines Register:

The Iowa Supreme Court this morning unanimously upheld gays’ right to marry.

“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision.

The court affirmed a Polk County District Court decision that would allow six gay couples to marry.

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.

The decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the fourth nationwide, to allow same-sex marriages. Lawyers for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group that financed the court battle and represented the couples, had hoped to use a court victory to demonstrate acceptance of same-sex marriage in heartland America.

To Iowa’s constitution, it would require approval in two consecutive legislative sessions and a public vote. This means that a ban would could not be put in place until at least 2012 unless lawmakers take up the issue in the next few weeks.

Deb

April 3rd, 2009

YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m watching the live coverage of Lambda Legal announcement of the decision. Each of the 6 couples in the case are now making statements. I am so happy for them. The couple on now have their kids with them!
It’ll be forever coming to Ohio unless there’s a Federal action on this issue.

Curtis

April 3rd, 2009

This made my morning! Iowa, of all places…I live in California, I’ve had my share of disappointments over the last several months, but when Midwestern states such as Iowa begin to change like this, for the better, I have high hopes for the rest of the country.

Lindoro

April 3rd, 2009

This is good news indeed! Can someone please tell us what is the making of the Iowa Supreme Court? How many Reps av. Dems?

Scott

April 3rd, 2009

This is truly a great victory for us, one in hopefully several to come in the future. I just finished reading the entire decision from the court. They stated at the end of their decision the concerns of religion in this situation. They understood them but stated that religion, according to all Constitutions, cannot be part of law. They also touched on the fact that religions can continue to define marriage as they see fit. It is the law of Iowa, ie civil marriages, that are to change and be granted to same sex couples.

KUDOS, to the Iowa Supreme Court for following the law and not pressure from either side of the issue! They have paved new ground and formed the ground work for future litigation in other states. KUDOS to the Plaintiffs defense team, they played it perfectly. They took on equal protection, which should be the basis for all litigation when it comes to same sex marriage. Marriage may or may not be a civil right, however equal protection under the law and due process is. This is where we need to concentrate our efforts in the future in all the other states as well as the US DOMA. Every state has an equal protection clause in its Constitution, it MUST abide by that clause or they must throw out all of their laws.

Great job to everyone in Iowa. It proves that just because the majority of the people want something doesn’t mean that they are going to get it. Sometimes they just have to bow out gracefully, but we know that is not going to happen.

Peace,
Scott

John Culhane

April 3rd, 2009

I just posted a summary of the decision for anyone who is interested. I’m a law professor but I wrote the summary for interested readers who don’t have a background in law. You can find it at: wordinedgewise.org

occono

April 3rd, 2009

Heh, I’m thinking of Harvey Milk’s quote when Anita Bryant got the Adoption Ban passed in Florida.

“She didn’t win.”

Go Iowa! :)

cowboy

April 3rd, 2009

I’ll admit I am mildly surprised this came from Iowa…but pleasantly surprised. (I must be too engrained with The Music Man stereotype.)

Thank you Mr. Culhane for your analysis. Those points need to be heeded in our debates in other States.

I loved the part where they said “…“sexual orientation is [so] central to personal identity” that it would be destructive to ask that it be changed.”

Swampfox

April 3rd, 2009

I must agree with cowboy when he said:

I loved the part where they said “…“sexual orientation is [so] central to personal identity” that it would be destructive to ask that it be changed.”

Joel

April 3rd, 2009

After California banned same sex marriage with an amendment right after it legalized it… i don’t quite have too many hopes this will remain.

Last i checked Iowa was not more socially liberal than California.

cd

April 3rd, 2009

Last i checked Iowa was not more socially liberal than California.

It’s the first time a state Supreme Court has spoken unanimously and utterly clearly to say that justice demands gay marriage legalization.

From the soc con websites I read, the rank and file knows it has lost Very Big. There is lots of loud talk about how voters will overturn it. But no talk at all about their side being able to prevail on the merits of their arguments (as such), let alone serious thinking about what would be justice.

The way the Iowa SC blew up their Authority of Tradition argument is what I suspect has really hit them hard. They seemed to think it could be denied but not demolished. Now that the Iowa SC has shown everyone how to dismantle it, their whole retrograde social policy platform (banning contraception and like sillyness) can get torn up in the public eye by a clever and determined opponent.

They can still win battles at the ballot box. But this particular unanticipated staggering blow to their public argument has their knees buckling moralewise.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

North Carolina Lawmakers Plot Raid Of Disaster Relief Fund to Defend HB 2

Federal Judge: Mississippi's Right-To-Discriminate Law Was Designed "To Put LGBT Citizens Back In Their Place"

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1943: Gay Resistance Fighters Shot By Nazis

Today In History, 1969: DC Appeals Court Rules Against Civil Service Commission's Gay Employment Ban

Today In History, 1982: Larry Craig Preemptively Denies Connection to Gay Page Sex Scandal

Born On This Day, 1925: Farley Granger

Born On This Day, 1951: Fred Schneider

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.