Friday, August 31, 2007

Judge strikes down Iowa ban on same-sex marriage

The same-sex marriage train has left the station, it's time to get on board! Iowa is now the latest, in an ever growing number of states, to proved approved spousal rights in some form for same-sex couples.

The New York Times reports:
Less than two hours after a judge struck down Iowa's decade-old gay marriage ban, two Des Moines men applied for a marriage license as bride and groom, and county officials said they expected to see more same-sex couples doing the same on Friday. [...]

Polk County Judge Robert Hanson cleared the way for the two men on Thursday when he ruled that a state law allowing marriage only between a man and woman violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.

The judge ordered local officials to process marriage licenses for the six gay couples who sued. With the ruling, gay couples across the state can now apply for a marriage license in the central-Iowa county.
Same-sex couples in Massachusetts have been allowed to legally marry for a couple of years now, with no noticeable change in the divorce rate of heterosexual couples. The idea that same-sex marriage would somehow destroy the "sanctity of marriage" is preposterous.

Republicans like Iowa House Minority Leader Christopher Rants need to just get over themselves. Responding to the ruling, Rants said:
''I can't believe this is happening in Iowa,'' Rants said. ''I guarantee you there will be a vote on this issue come January,'' when the Legislature convenes.
The lawyer for the six gay couples argued that Iowa had a long history of protecting civil rights based on race and gender. He also commented that the Defense of Marriage Act (which should be abolished) passed in 1998 declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman is simply ''mean spirited.''

Roger J. Kuhle, an assistant Polk County attorney, argued that the issue is not for a judge to decide.
Is he kidding? Our Constitution was written to protect minority interests over the tyranny of the majority. Civil rights should NEVER be decided by popular vote.

The frightening aspect of all this is that should a state challenge reach the current U.S. Supreme Court there is no guarantee the Justices will do the right thing. Personal bias has replaced sound jurisprudence.

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