Here are two reactions to the Iowa marriage ruling. Fair and balanced. Judge persuasiveness for youself…
First, Iowa’s Family Policy Center’s chief Chuck Hurley
For the record his statement at the end, “Such things as promoting the optimal environment for children, promoting procreation, and promoting stability is opposite sex relationships were not convincing to the court,” is patently false. The court specifically said that those interests WERE legitimate. However, the evidence presented to them showed that denying gay couples the right to marry did not actually have anything to do with those interests.
Second, the first and only openly gay member of Iowa’s state legislature…
***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.
The Iowa Supreme Court will let us know if it finds that the Iowa Constitution requires same-sex couples be allowed to marry. If the answer is yes it will be the first Midwest state and by far the most conservative to have thus declared.
For the record, I’d be a one happy fella if Illinois bucked the trend and passed full marriage rights via the legislature before any court action. Not likely…but it could happen. It’d be seen as a badge of honor for the state years from now.