Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Satty

Iowa gay marriage ban ruled unconstitutional

135 posts in this topic

Linkypoo

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage Friday in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state — and the first in the nation's heartland — to allow same-sex couples to wed.

In its decision, the high court upheld a lower court's ruling that found a state law restricting marriage to between a man and woman violated Iowa's constitution.

"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective," the Supreme Court wrote in its decision. "The Legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification."

'It's a big win'

The ruling set off celebration among the state's gay-marriage proponents.

"Iowa is about justice, and that's what happened here today," said Laura Fefchak, who was hosting a verdict party in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale with partner of 13 years, Nancy Robinson.

Robinson added: "To tell the truth, I didn't think I'd see this day."

Richard Socarides, an attorney and former senior adviser on gay rights to President Clinton, said the ruling carries extra significance coming from Iowa.

AP

Dawn, left, and Jen BarbouRoske, pictured with their two daughters, are plaintiffs in a challenge to Iowa's ban on same-sex marriage.

"It's a big win because, coming from Iowa, it represents the mainstreaming of gay marriage. And it shows that despite attempts stop gay marriage through right-wing ballot initiatives, like in California, the courts will continue to support the case for equal rights for gays," he said.

Its opponents were equally dismayed.

"I would say the mood is one of mourning right now in a lot of ways, and yet the first thing we did after internalizing the decision was to walk across the street and begin the process of lobbying our legislators to let the people of Iowa vote," said Bryan English, spokesman for the conservative group the Iowa Family Policy Center.

"This is an issue that will define (lawmakers') leadership. This is not a side issue."

The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., pastor at the Maple Street Baptist Church in Des Moines, went to the Supreme Court building to hear of the decision.

"It's a perversion and it opens the door to more perversions," Ratliff said. "What's next?"

Technically, the decision will take about 21 days to be considered final and a request for a rehearing could be filed within that period.

But Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said his office will not ask for a rehearing, meaning the court's decision should take effect after that three-week period.

"Our Supreme Court has decided it, and they make the decision as to what the law is and we follow Supreme Court decisions," Sarcone said. "This is not a personal thing. We have an obligation to the law to defend the recorder, and that's what we do."

That means it will be at least several weeks before gay and lesbian couples can seek marriage licenses.

Sarcone said gay marriage opponents can't appeal the case at the state or federal level because they were not party to the lawsuit and no federal issue was raised in the case.

Opponents can try and persuade Iowa lawmakers to address the issue, but state Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, said it's "exceedingly unlikely" gay marriage legislation will be brought up this session, expected to end within weeks. He also said he's "not inclined to call up a constitutional amendment," during next year's session.

Separation of powers

The case had been working its way through Iowa's court system since 2005 when Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization, filed a lawsuit on behalf of six gay and lesbian Iowa couples who were denied marriage licenses. Some of their children are also listed as plaintiffs.

The suit named then-Polk County recorder and registrar Timothy Brien.

The state Supreme Court's ruling upheld an August 2007 decision by Polk County District Court Judge Robert Hanson, who found that a state law allowing marriage only between a man and a woman violates the state's constitutional rights of equal protection.

The Polk County attorney's office, arguing on behalf of Brien, claimed that Hanson's ruling violates the separation of powers and said the issue should be left to the Legislature.

Lambda Legal planned to comment on the ruling later Friday. A request for comment from the Polk County attorney's office wasn't immediately returned.

Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat, said the decision addresses a complicated and emotional issue.

"The next responsible step is to thoroughly review this decision, which I am doing with my legal counsel and the attorney general, before reacting to what it means for Iowa," Culver said in a statement.

Around the nation, only Massachusetts and Connecticut permit same-sex marriage. California, which briefly allowed gay marriage before a voter initiative in November repealed it, allows domestic partnerships.

New Jersey, New Hampshire and Vermont also offer civil unions, which provide many of the same rights that come with marriage. New York recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, and legislators there and in New Jersey are weighing whether to offer marriage. A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Vermont has cleared the Legislature but may be vetoed by the governor.

Now midwesterners dont have to go to the east coast to be gay married. Should help Iowas economy. Then again, I'm not sure how much corn gay couples buy.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Linkypoo

Now midwesterners dont have to go to the east coast to be gay married. Should help Iowas economy. Then again, I'm not sure how much corn gay couples buy.

They only seem interested in the cobbs for some reason! :gay:

Just kidding...don't kill me. Couldn't resist. Congrats to all who choose to go this route. Happy for you all. Now you can be as miserable as us straight couples! :smilewide:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From an entirely legalistic standpoint (i.e. this is not necessarily a view that i hold on this subject).

It is entirely legal for any state to ban gay marriage unless the states constitution prohibits it.

Why is this? Well the 16th amendment allows the government to tax people without any basis on census or really anything... Hence progressive tax brackets. Anyways, this also means that the government can discriminate amongst its people on a tax basis. Now a "Marriage" has a legal meaning in taxes which allows the government to discriminate between those who are single and those who are married.

Hence in that sense, marriage is nothing more than a way for the government to discriminate amongst its people in an effort to "promote" population growth. This is entirely allowed within the 16th amendment as does not fall into any other amendments because marriage only has any significant real life ramifications on taxes.

As such, any effort to move the nation towards true equality for all involves the government relinquishing its ability to recognize marriage of ANY kind. This is not to say that people cannot get married in churches of course and there is nothing to say a church cannot marry two people of the same sex. The point is that this is not the government business.

Of course, one could also argue that progressive income taxes are unconstitutional.

Edited by Teh Ricer Civic!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in favor of just about any freedom-expanding decisions or legislation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much longer are we going to drag out this gay marriage issue? Just legalize it already, it's only a matter of time. As a member of generation Y, I can tell you that young people don't mind if same-sex couples get married.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From an entirely legalistic standpoint (i.e. this is not necessarily a view that i hold on this subject).

It is entirely legal for any state to ban gay marriage unless the states constitution prohibits it.

Why is this? Well the 16th amendment allows the government to tax people without any basis on census or really anything... Hence progressive tax brackets. Anyways, this also means that the government can discriminate amongst its people on a tax basis. Now a "Marriage" has a legal meaning in taxes which allows the government to discriminate between those who are single and those who are married.

Hence in that sense, marriage is nothing more than a way for the government to discriminate amongst its people in an effort to "promote" population growth. This is entirely allowed within the 16th amendment as does not fall into any other amendments because marriage only has any significant real life ramifications on taxes.

As such, any effort to move the nation towards true equality for all involves the government relinquishing its ability to recognize marriage of ANY kind. This is not to say that people cannot get married in churches of course and there is nothing to say a church cannot marry two people of the same sex. The point is that this is not the government business.

Of course, one could also argue that progressive income taxes are unconstitutional.

The "Equal Protection under the law" clause makes your entire argument bunk. The part that I bolded is especially bunk. Taxes are the least of our worries in the gay marriage fight.

It's regretful since so few are members, but this thread will probably have to be moved to politics.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this thread will be fine where it is.

But, I could be wrong.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand why some people make such a huge deal about gay people marrying; it's not as if good ol' straight married people like Larry Craig have done the institution any favours. Everyone should have the right to be happy.

Besides, aren't there bigger things to worry about like, y'know... the economy?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone to should have the right to be happy (or suffer) together. :P

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The "Equal Protection under the law" clause makes your entire argument bunk. The part that I bolded is especially bunk. Taxes are the least of our worries in the gay marriage fight.

It's regretful since so few are members, but this thread will probably have to be moved to politics.

You are entirely correct my good sir, i just like posting random "out there" stuff cause i know you will respond. But you must admit that under "Equal Protection Under the Law" the majority of tax code seems to be in violation of it.

All i was trying to get across is the only way to actually solve these problems is for the government to simply back off and not recognize ANY marriages whatsoever. Would it piss off both sides? Probably, but its the only fair way to do it. After all, who is to say that people merely living with each other should not be able to file for the same benefits as married people? Any way you slice it, there is not equal protection under the law with this. Additionally have NO LAWS in place regarding marriage of any sort would yield greater freedom for all, and would not reduce freedom for anyone.

The next great achievement in the womens rights movement will have to come with women being forced to register for the Selective Service too. Equal rights you know.

Edited by Teh Ricer Civic!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are entirely correct my good sir, i just like posting random "out there" stuff cause i know you will respond. But you must admit that under "Equal Protection Under the Law" the majority of tax code seems to be in violation of it.

No. Taxes =/= Protection. The laws must protect all groups equally. As for progressive taxes, well, tax exemptions and incentives pretty much render your dislike of them bunk. It really isn't difficult to game the system.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are entirely correct my good sir, i just like posting random "out there" stuff cause i know you will respond. But you must admit that under "Equal Protection Under the Law" the majority of tax code seems to be in violation of it.

All i was trying to get across is the only way to actually solve these problems is for the government to simply back off and not recognize ANY marriages whatsoever. Would it piss off both sides? Probably, but its the only fair way to do it. After all, who is to say that people merely living with each other should not be able to file for the same benefits as married people? Any way you slice it, there is not equal protection under the law with this. Additionally have NO LAWS in place regarding marriage of any sort would yield greater freedom for all, and would not reduce freedom for anyone.

The next great achievement in the womens rights movement will have to come with women being forced to register for the Selective Service too. Equal rights you know.

The reason against having marriage rights for people just living together is that I wouldn't want my roommate to have power of attorney over me simply because we split the gas bill. The problem arises when, if I want to marry my male roommate I cannot, but if I want to marry my female roommate, I can if I want to.

Having no laws regarding marriage would actually cause more problems. Right now, if I died, Albert should get my estate. However, because we cannot get married, my parents could fight my will in court and possibly have it overturned. (not saying they would, just and example of could). My parents could refuse Albert visitation in the event I was incapacitated. Even with a living will, it can be fought in court.

The list goes on and on.... but suffice it to say that due to the disrespect and anger directed at gay people, we need the law behind us to protect our relationships from outside meddlers.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If California is any indicator, a few well-funded groups will push for a voter initiative and spew fear-mongering propaganda, reversing the Court's decision. -_-

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Having no laws regarding marriage would actually cause more problems. Right now, if I died, Albert should get my estate. However, because we cannot get married, my parents could fight my will in court and possibly have it overturned. (not saying they would, just and example of could). My parents could refuse Albert visitation in the event I was incapacitated. Even with a living will, it can be fought in court.

The list goes on and on.... but suffice it to say that due to the disrespect and anger directed at gay people, we need the law behind us to protect our relationships from outside meddlers.

Actually i apologize for even saying anything. I am on your side on this argument, but for some reason i tend to attach a LOT of other frustrations with our government onto the gay rights movement for no good reason other than it is useful as an example.

Edited by Teh Ricer Civic!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If California is any indicator, a few well-funded groups will push for a voter initiative and spew fear-mongering propaganda, reversing the Court's decision. -_-

The California issue was an example of how NOT to run a campaign. It is widely accepted in the gay community that the "No on Prop" group greatly bungled the whole thing. The lesbians getting married and one inviting her 2nd grade class didn't help things either.

Iowa, much like New Hampshire, is a very independent state. They won't tolerate outsiders meddling in their political process even if they happen to agree with them. The only way to get an amendment to the Iowa constitution is through approval of two consecutive legislative sessions before going to a public vote.... meaning the earliest an amendment banning gay marriage could go on the ballot is 2012.

The Democratic leaders of the Iowa legislature (currently in the majority) have said they will never allow a vote on such a measure while they are in power. Barring some major screw up on the Democratic side (don't rule out that possibility), the legislature is safely democrat for the next 4 years.

So it's going to take a while if it were to happen at all.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The lesbians getting married and one inviting her 2nd grade class didn't help things either.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that situation a field trip in which the parents had to sign permission slips to allow their children to attend?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that situation a field trip in which the parents had to sign permission slips to allow their children to attend?

You are not wrong.... however when has the truth actually mattered?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are not wrong.... however when has the truth actually mattered?

True...I've had plenty "discussions" with my Mormon friend about gay marriage. It seems he can never justify his strong opposition to it. The guy has a very large ego so it is enjoyable to prove him wrong and correct his misnomers, but the stubbornness is almost sickening...sometimes to the point where I do not feel like associating with him (it hasn't ruined our friendship...though I've grown apart from him anyway as out of nowhere he has become heavily involved in the Mormon church, and he has changed greatly...but I digress.) It becomes easy to see why people lose friendships over this stuff.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
True...I've had plenty "discussions" with my Mormon friend about gay marriage. It seems he can never justify his strong opposition to it. The guy has a very large ego so it is enjoyable to prove him wrong and correct his misnomers, but the stubbornness is almost sickening...sometimes to the point where I do not feel like associating with him (it hasn't ruined our friendship...though I've grown apart from him anyway as out of nowhere he has become heavily involved in the Mormon church, and he has changed greatly...but I digress.) It becomes easy to see why people lose friendships over this stuff.

I've been through a similar situation with someone who went all out on religion very quickly. Sometimes it just isn't worth it. You really miss the "old" them, and it's really hard to try and accept that that may never happen. None of my good friends are religious, and I kinda like it that way.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's only fair. The "slippery slope" argument is so worn out. Good for Iowa.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like for this not to be moved to the payers only section...

having said this...

I am against the government marrying people.... if there is a religion that marries man and man or woman and woman, than you should have every right to do so.

I do have to disagree with thinking that marriage is a "right"....if it's a right, then why can't children get married?..it's regulated by the government.... so why are restrictions on who can get married suddenly unconstitutional? it's just a double standard perpetuated by the elected...or judges...

civil marriage isn't like owning a firearm, freedom of speech, press, religion....

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd like for this not to be moved to the payers only section...

having said this...

I am against the government marrying people.... if there is a religion that marries man and man or woman and woman, than you should have every right to do so.

I do have to disagree with thinking that marriage is a "right"....if it's a right, then why can't children get married?..it's regulated by the government.... so why are restrictions on who can get married suddenly unconstitutional? it's just a double standard perpetuated by the elected...or judges...

civil marriage isn't like owning a firearm, freedom of speech, press, religion....

In that case, it's the government treating the contracts of two different groups of people differently. Heterosexuals can enter into a single contract that is difficult for outsiders to challenge. Homosexuals have to enter multiple contracts to only get a fraction of the benefits and still have the chance of those contracts being successfully challenged in court.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are interested enough, read the opinion the justices wrote. It's only 6 pages long and is pretty easy reading. It explains why they came to the conclusion they did from every angle and argument. I thought their logic was perfect.

I don't understand how any state's constitution that has the concept of equal protection in it, can then turn around and exclude a segment of the population in granting rights.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In that case, it's the government treating the contracts of two different groups of people differently. Heterosexuals can enter into a single contract that is difficult for outsiders to challenge. Homosexuals have to enter multiple contracts to only get a fraction of the benefits and still have the chance of those contracts being successfully challenged in court.

so, are you saying it's not a right? seriously curious...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do have to disagree with thinking that marriage is a "right"....if it's a right, then why can't children get married?

Apparently you've never been to Alabama ... :lol:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0