***UPDATE x 3: Two minute explanation of the Iowa ruling on Equal Protection grounds….
Essentially, the court decided that gay and lesbians were a category that required “intermediate” scrutiny. That means that the state had a heightened burden of proving that the ban on same-sex marriage clearly advanced an important government interest. In this case, the court decided that the state’s reasons for the ban (tradition, more procreation among heterosexual couples, optimal raising of children, saving state resources, and religious objections) were not actually advanced by the ban on same-sex marriage. In other words, the court said, “Those are all good things that the government has a right to pursue, but the ban on gay marriage doesn’t actually improve any of those interests.”
As a side note, the US Supreme Court has historically NOT found that gays and lesbians as a category required ‘intermediate’ scrutiny’ only ‘rational scrutiny.’ Thus, the US Supreme Court would likely say, “Those are all good things that the government has a right to pursue, and since denying gays marriage rights might help those interest even just a little bit, we will uphold the ban.”
Mini-Constitutional Law class dismissed.
***UPDATE x 2: From the opinion’s conclusion…
“We are firmly convinced that the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the instituion of civil marriage does not substantially further any important government objective. […] To decide otherwise would be an abdication of our constitutional duty.”
***UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the Supreme Court decision was unanimous. That’s more good news.
The Iowa Supreme Court has just released its ruling: Denying same-sex couples the right to marry violates the state’s Equal Protection Clause.
The Summary of the opinion can be found HERE.
I may write more later. But, for those who only read the bolded parts of any post: This is great news.