Iowa’s surprising decision

April 3, 2009
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I’ll admit it, I’m surprised the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled civil marriage isn’t only for a man and woman. Iowa is in the Midwest and many people in this part of the country have deep-seated, often religious influences on their reasons for opposing gay marriage.

I’d expect an East Coast or West Coast state with big cities and more diverse populations to approve gay marriage, but somewhere in the Midwest? I never thought I’d see that anytime soon.

I skimmed the opinion authored by Justice Mark S. Cady this morning shortly after it was handed down and it’s well-written and pretty interesting. That state’s high court found the gay marriage ban violated the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.

Justice Cady wrote, “Our responsibility, however, is to protect constitutional rights of individuals from legislative enactments that have denied those rights, even when the rights have not yet been broadly accepted, were at one time unimagined, or challenge a deeply ingrained practice or law viewed to be impervious to the passage of time.”

One argument of the county against gay marriage was studies have shown two-parent households with a mother and a father is the most optimal situation to raise children in and a gay household would be detrimental to the well-being of children. On that Justice Cady wrote, "If the marriage statute was truly focused on optimal parenting, many classifications of people would be excluded, not merely gay and lesbian people.”

The ruling got me thinking about how our Supreme Court might decide the issue here. I know the circumstances of a lawsuit wouldn’t be the same and our state constitutions differ, but if given the facts of the Iowa suit here, would our high court reach the same conclusion? Does this ruling also open the door to more Midwestern states allowing same-sex civil marriages or civil unions?
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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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