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  1. #1
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    Default Iowa Supreme Court Overturns Gay-Marriage Ban

    The Iowa Supreme Court struck down a ban on same-sex marriages, making Iowa the first Midwestern state and the third overall to allow gay marriage.

    The unanimous ruling by the seven justices may signal a shift of momentum in favor of proponents of same-sex marriage, who have taken their fight to courts and state legislatures after years of defeats at the ballot box.

    Iowa joins Massachusetts and Connecticut in allowing same-sex marriage, while legislatures in New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Maine are weighing bills that would allow it.

    On Thursday, the Democratic-controlled Vermont House of Representatives advanced a bill that would permit same-sex marriages in that state. The Republican governor has promised a veto; two-thirds majorities in both legislative chambers would be needed to override. The Obama administration wants to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which says that under federal law only a marriage between a man and a woman is recognized.

    The Iowa court said the state's statutory ban on gay marriage violated the state constitution. The Iowa Family Policy Center, a conservative lobbying group, called the court decision "anti-family and unconstitutional," as it launched a campaign to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.
    Five of the Iowa justices were appointed by Democratic governors and the other two were appointed by a Republican.

    In Polk County, where the Iowa court case originated, Recorder Julie Haggerty said her office will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on April 24, when the decision takes effect.

    Voters in 29 states have approved constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, and 14 other states have statutory bans. Opponents of gay marriage are running out of states where it is relatively easy to put the issue on the ballot.

    The Iowa legislature in 1998 amended the state's marriage statute to define marriage as a union between only a man and a woman. The case decided Friday, Varnum v. Brien, involves six same-sex couples who initially filed a lawsuit in 2005 against then-Polk County Recorder Timothy J. Brien for denying them marriage licenses.

    In 2007, the Polk County district court ruled that gay couples must be allowed to marry, citing Iowa's guarantee of equal protection under the state constitution. The court ordered the county to begin processing marriage licenses for same-sex couples. But that ruling was automatically set aside when the county appealed the decision.

    On Friday, the state Supreme Court affirmed the district court's ruling allowing gay marriage. The court said creating a separate category of "civil unions" for gay couples also would violate the Iowa 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," Justice Mark S. Cady wrote for the Iowa court. "The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification."

    The court rejected the county's argument that homosexual couples, because they cannot naturally have children together, may be treated differently from heterosexual couples under state law. The decision also discussed what the court called an "unspoken" reason for excluding gay and lesbian couples from civil marriage: religion.

    The court added that its decision would have no effect on the ability of churches to decide whom they would marry in religious ceremonies.
    Iowa Supreme Court Overturns Gay-Marriage Ban - WSJ.com

  2. #2
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    Also:

    Iowans, unlike Californians, cannot amend the state Constitution by initiative, but will vote on the issue only if their Legislature passes a repeal measure in two consecutive sessions. The prospects for such a ballot measure seemed to diminish when the leaders of the Democratic majorities in both houses issued a joint statement praising the ruling.

    California ruling helped Iowa OK gay marriage
    Yay!

  3. #3
    Lasting_Pain
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    Bought time, I hope that more states follow suit.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cogdecree's Avatar
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    The specific issue aside, I find it interesting or confusing that items are allowed on the ballot yet aren't really allowed in the first place, why waste the money and time giving people a voice (voting), if it isn't allowed to be taken into action?

    Secondly, what kind of precedents can we expect from overturning popular vote (especially by those large margins)?

    If the state believes the public is wrong?

    Itís good for them; they just can't see it?

    We know best?

    If such is allowed now, I have no doubt that popular vote in other areas can be equally subverted just as easily.

    My $.02 on the impact of such actions.

  5. #5
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Now if only the rest of the states would catch up.
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
    - Costrin

  6. #6
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cogdecree View Post
    The specific issue aside, I find it interesting or confusing that items are allowed on the ballot yet aren't really allowed in the first place, why waste the money and time giving people a voice (voting), if it isn't allowed to be taken into action?

    Secondly, what kind of precedents can we expect from overturning popular vote (especially by those large margins)?

    If the state believes the public is wrong?

    Itís good for them; they just can't see it?

    We know best?

    If such is allowed now, I have no doubt that popular vote in other areas can be equally subverted just as easily.

    My $.02 on the impact of such actions.
    That's up to the citizens of Iowa, isn't it? The rules of the procedure are written in their constitution, and the issue is with that. What I mean is that if they hadn't wanted something like this to happen, they should have changed the procedure described in their constitution (perhaps many of them are wishing that they had).

    I am talking about the procedure itself, instead of this specific case, because it should be consistent across all cases. The basis is "no exceptions to the law."
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  7. #7
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    It's only a matter of time until gay-marriage is allowed everywhere... I think that's what God is waiting for to happen before he starts the Rapture, just so it will be easier to identify the people that won't be getting into Heaven.

  8. #8
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cogdecree View Post
    The specific issue aside, I find it interesting or confusing that items are allowed on the ballot yet aren't really allowed in the first place, why waste the money and time giving people a voice (voting), if it isn't allowed to be taken into action?

    Secondly, what kind of precedents can we expect from overturning popular vote (especially by those large margins)?

    If the state believes the public is wrong?

    Itís good for them; they just can't see it?

    We know best?

    If such is allowed now, I have no doubt that popular vote in other areas can be equally subverted just as easily.

    My $.02 on the impact of such actions.
    Popular opinion is never a good barometer for the "right" answer, only the popular answer. People are idiots, have you seen the latest statistics on general scientific knowledge of the country?

    Honestly it pains me when I think that everyone is allowed to vote. They shouldn't be able to. I don't even think I should be able to.

    Anyways, good for Iowa. I think New England is using this as initiative to get something done as well.



  9. #9
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Congratulations. Gay people now have exactly one reason to go to Iowa.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  10. #10
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Marriage=Church Civil union=State Church=State?
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

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