Iowa Court Says Gay Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional

by Caleb Reading

Via The New York Times:

In a unanimous ruling issued Friday, the court upheld a 2007 Polk County District Court judge’s ruling that the law violated the state constitution.

The case stems from a 2005 lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization. The group filed a lawsuit on behalf of six gay and lesbian Iowa couples who were denied marriage licenses.

I’m from Iowa and this doesn’t really surprise me (it’s about damn time, actually).  Some of the comments on the article at the Des Moines Register were cracking me up, like this one:

What an OUTRAGE! Next thing you know, they’ll be freeing slaves! Then it’s just a slippery slope to black voting rights, women’s suffrage, and equal pay in the work place! I am very disappointed in the Iowan legislature’s inability to see that some kinds of people just deserve to be oppressed.

Here’s the .pdf of the ruling:

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. The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification. There is no material fact, genuinely in dispute, that can affect this determination.

We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law. Faithfulness to that duty requires us to hold Iowa’s marriage statute, Iowa Code section 595.2, violates the Iowa Constitution. To decide otherwise would be an abdication of our constitutional duty. If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded. Iowa Code section 595.2 denies gay and lesbian people the equal protection of the law promised by the Iowa Constitution.

There’s also a part in the .pdf where they go out of their way to point out they’re talking about civil marriage, not religious ceremonies.  If your church doesn’t want to do a ceremony, then don’t.  If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex, then don’t.  But don’t pretend like it isn’t completely shameful to legally screw over people like Sam Beaumont and his 3 kids because you think we’re “icky”.  Mind your own.  Not everybody can afford to hire 15 damn lawyers to try to draft paperwork for just some of the rights straight people can get during one drunken night in Vegas and then totally take for granted.  In conclusion, Mormons suck.