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Iowa gay marriage ban unconstitutional

PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
edited April 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Before it takes over every other political thread (under El Jeffe's Law), this seems like kinda a big deal. I'll just quote the introductory paragraphs from the AP

Iowa gay marriage ban ruled unconstitutional
State supreme court says law violates rights of gays and lesbians
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Friday finding that the state's same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples, making Iowa the third state where gay marriage is legal.

In its decision, the court upheld a 2007 district court judge's ruling that the law violates the state constitution. It strikes the language from Iowa code limiting marriage to only between a man a woman.

"The court reaffirmed that a statute inconsistent with the Iowa constitution must be declared void even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion," said a summary of the ruling issued by the court.


Iowa is not Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or even California. Iowa is "fly-over-country", a swing state, the home of the first caucus (also corn), etc etc.

In related news
Gay-marriage bill in Vermont poised for veto
BOSTON (Reuters) - The Vermont House of Representatives passed a bill late on Thursday that would legalize gay marriage, but supporters failed to get enough votes to override a veto threat from the governor.

Lawmakers in the Democratic-led House voted 95-52 in support of the measure, which had already passed the state Senate by a 26-4 vote. Advocates were five votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

Vermont may still get gay marriage soon but it looks like it might not be this year.

Did the post-Prop 8 protests mark a tipping point while everyone was looking at the economy? Or are these just additional incremental steps that can only change things at the state level until DOMA is repealed?

edit - I see that someone posted this in the other gay marriage/prop 8 thread. If the mods want to merge/lock I'm fine with that.

PantsB on
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Posts

  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    So Iowa is now more progressive than California?

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Bama wrote: »
    So Iowa is now more progressive than California?

    Awesome.

  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Bama wrote: »
    So Iowa is now more progressive than California?

    Not necessarily.... California started out the same way, which is how it was legal to start with.

    Prop 8 was a constitutional amendment.

    Basically, they said, "It's not constitutional? Fine, we'll change the constitution."

    Same thing could happen in Iowa.

    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    So Iowa is now more progressive than California?

    Not necessarily.... California started out the same way, which is how it was legal to start with.

    Prop 8 was a constitutional amendment.

    Basically, they said, "It's not constitutional? Fine, we'll change the constitution."

    Same thing could happen in Iowa.
    Why you gotta rain on the pride parade?

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Yeah modifying Cali's constitution is about as hard as disputing a parking ticket.....

  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Iowa is not a state I'd expect this from. Pretty pumped!

  • NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Bama wrote: »
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    So Iowa is now more progressive than California?

    Not necessarily.... California started out the same way, which is how it was legal to start with.

    Prop 8 was a constitutional amendment.

    Basically, they said, "It's not constitutional? Fine, we'll change the constitution."

    Same thing could happen in Iowa.
    Why you gotta rain on the pride parade?

    Well, I'm *hoping* that eventually SCOTUS will rule the same way and throw all of these state amendments out the window.

    I live in Florida -- the state that recently decided that not only do we not have to honor gay marriages from other states, we also don't have to honor any relationship "substantially equivalent to marriage" for anyone. I'd be happier to just get rid of the states' stupid shit in this particular issue.

    Personally, I like D&D because I find OCD much more interesting than ADD.
  • darthmixdarthmix Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Yeah modifying Cali's constitution is about as hard as disputing a parking ticket.....

    Yeah, and according to the Des Moines Register:
    Q. What is the process for an amendment to the Iowa Constitution?

    A. Amendments need to be approved by simple majorities in both the House and Senate in two consecutive general assemblies, then must be approved by a simple majority of voters in the next general election. Each general assembly lasts for two years. This year is the second year of the current general assembly. That means if an amendment is approved this year and in the 2009 or 2010 legislative session, it can be on the general election ballot in November 2010. If lawmakers wait until 2009 to start the amendment process, the earliest that a proposed amendment could reach voters is November 2012.

    EDIT: The article is from last year, so presumably we're now past the deadline to get an amedment on the ballot by 2010.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I wonder what, if any, effect this would have on the presidential caucuses

    Guess it depends on public opinion

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Bama wrote: »
    So Iowa is now more progressive than California?

    There are gay people in Iowa?

    How would D.C. go about lifting bans on homosexual marriage? They wouldn't be able to without a federal ruling or can congress folk make up special rulings just for the district alone? It's all topsy turvy after the Heller handgun ruling last year.

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  • Tyler the GreatTyler the Great Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Its really not that surprising...Iowa has always been ahead of the curve on civil rights issues.

  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    Nerissa wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    So Iowa is now more progressive than California?

    Not necessarily.... California started out the same way, which is how it was legal to start with.

    Prop 8 was a constitutional amendment.

    Basically, they said, "It's not constitutional? Fine, we'll change the constitution."

    Same thing could happen in Iowa.
    Why you gotta rain on the pride parade?

    Well, I'm *hoping* that eventually SCOTUS will rule the same way and throw all of these state amendments out the window.

    I live in Florida -- the state that recently decided that not only do we not have to honor gay marriages from other states, we also don't have to honor any relationship "substantially equivalent to marriage" for anyone. I'd be happier to just get rid of the states' stupid shit in this particular issue.

    We don't have much recourse down here except for a federal law. I'm going to support and campaign for an amendment to override Amendment 2, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • nugmanagogonugmanagogo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I am not gay, but I have many gay friends. This is, I think, the 1st time I've have ever been proud of being an Iowan.

    god is Love, Love is blind, Ray Charles is blind, Ray Charles is god
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    darthmix wrote: »
    Yeah modifying Cali's constitution is about as hard as disputing a parking ticket.....

    Yeah, and according to the Des Moines Register:
    Q. What is the process for an amendment to the Iowa Constitution?

    A. Amendments need to be approved by simple majorities in both the House and Senate in two consecutive general assemblies, then must be approved by a simple majority of voters in the next general election. Each general assembly lasts for two years. This year is the second year of the current general assembly. That means if an amendment is approved this year and in the 2009 or 2010 legislative session, it can be on the general election ballot in November 2010. If lawmakers wait until 2009 to start the amendment process, the earliest that a proposed amendment could reach voters is November 2012.

    EDIT: The article is from last year, so presumably we're now past the deadline to get an amedment on the ballot by 2010.
    That's very similar to how the MA Amendment process goes. At first a solid majority of state Reps and Senators were behind amending the state constitution to overrule the State Supreme Court ruling that legitimized gay marriage. They held a special joint session and it passed easily.

    Then people absorbed the idea and started telling their Reps not to vote for this. People saw the sky wasn't falling and said, "Fuck it, let them live in peace." The conservatives had to fight to even get a vote and when they got it the measure was handily defeated, it never made the ballot and now even Massachusetts Republican state reps don't want to overturn gay marriage.

    edit to fix my memory
    The first time it came up formally was after people started getting used to the idea 62 votes went for it, but that was still the minority position (you only needed 50 votes in 2 joint sessions in a row to get it on the ballot)

    The second vote:
    In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure,” Gov. Deval Patrick said after the legislature voted 151 to 45 against the amendment, which needed 50 favorable votes to come before voters in a referendum in November 2008.

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  • darthmixdarthmix Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Pretty much as I've always thought. Gay marriage is really scary to Americans until it actually happens; once people live with it for a little while it completely loses scare power. If the prop 8 vote had been a year or more after the court decision I doubt it would've passed.

  • ForarForar #432 Already prepping for Toronto Fan Expo!Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Nice to see some progress being made. Hopefully it sticks and builds momentum.

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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm really happy (surprised) about this, but also fear IA will just try a state constitutional ban. This really needs to be bumped up to SCOTUS so we can be done with it (I really doubt a "defense of marraige" US constitution amendment would go through).

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  • Brian888Brian888 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Its really not that surprising...Iowa has always been ahead of the curve on civil rights issues.


    I didn't realize it, but as the decision itself explained, this is very true.

    The decision is very nicely written, btw.

  • DarlanDarlan Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Hey, a day I'm happy to be from Iowa. Such a rare treat.

    I know there's a lot of factors other than democrat and republican party affiliations that would play into this if it does come down to a vote, but for what it's worth here's a link to the state's 2008 Presidential election results.

    PSN: Toids42
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  • NoahnautNoahnaut Registered User
    edited April 2009
    another small part of AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Iowa is not a state I'd expect this from. Pretty pumped!

    I'd actually expect this from pretty much any state, but that's mainly because I have a lot more faith in the judiciary than the legislature or public in general. It's a clear equal protection issue, and any court deliberating based on the Constitution or the law (which they're more likely to do than a legislature) should come to the same end.

    Here's hoping it sticks.

    Has DOMA every been before the SCOTUS? Are there any cases working there way towards it right now?

  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Tomanta wrote: »
    I'm really happy (surprised) about this, but also fear IA will just try a state constitutional ban. This really needs to be bumped up to SCOTUS so we can be done with it (I really doubt a "defense of marraige" US constitution amendment would go through).

    From what darthmix posted, it looks like it'll be three years before the voters will get to see this on the ballot. Three years is a long time to acclimate yourself to something that has been made legal.

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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    Tomanta wrote: »
    I'm really happy (surprised) about this, but also fear IA will just try a state constitutional ban. This really needs to be bumped up to SCOTUS so we can be done with it (I really doubt a "defense of marraige" US constitution amendment would go through).

    From what darthmix posted, it looks like it'll be three years before the voters will get to see this on the ballot. Three years is a long time to acclimate yourself to something that has been made legal.

    Hmm, I missed that earlier. 3 years is a long time. I have no doubt that there will still be an attempt, but hopefully after that much time it will die before it even makes it to the ballot.

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  • Delicious Toad!Delicious Toad! __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    Brian888 wrote: »
    The decision is very nicely written, btw.
    It's also a pretty interesting decision, worth skimming over. It's very accessible, and covers a lot of interesting ground aside from the decision itself. The really interesting tidbit, I think, is something implicated by the procedure of the decision:

    1) The assertion that the plaintiff's appeal to equal protection statutes fails, because same-sex and opposite-sex couples are not "similarly situated," because same-sex couples cannot "procreate naturally," and the equal protection statutes apply to similarly-situated persons.

    2) The assertion then, though, that the ability to say this runs against the grain of what the law is meant to do, as in any situation where one party is appealing against one in a better position there will always be an avenue where the two can be demonstrated not to be "similarly-situated." Then, they say, the corollary is that the two groups must be similarly-situated with respect to the subject of the claim.

    3) They finally assert that for all of the purposes of marriage, same-sex and opposite-sex couples are similarly-situated, and the ban is therefore subject to being struck down under the equal protection clause.

    3a) The fun implication here, that they make obvious by the section where they handle bullet point 1), is that this is also a statement that procreation has nothing to do with marriage. (They mention families, but they mention this as something which same-sex couples are similarly-situated, which I guess also can be interpreted as a statement on the validity of those family structures.)

    It's possible I am reading some of this wrong, so feel free to point out if I am, but I think that this is the gist of the sections on the decision itself. ^^

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Iowa?

    PSN: allenquid
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
  • Brian888Brian888 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I wish we had a few more reactionary conservatives posting on PA. I want to drink their sweet, sweet tears over this decision.

  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Brian888 wrote: »
    I wish we had a few more reactionary conservatives posting on PA. I want to drink their sweet, sweet tears over this decision.
    Well, there is at least the guy in this article who's main objection seems to be that "animals don't do that."

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
  • DarlanDarlan Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Hah, Iowa City is humming with joy right now.

    All of my friends' facebook statuses are something along the lines of "Woo HOO" expect the one guy who also writes a "I lost my phone send me yur numbers" one every three months or so.

    PSN: Toids42
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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!

    Score one for the good guys (and girls) who like other guys (or girls).

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • Brian888Brian888 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Iowa?

    Apparently, the Iowa Supreme Court anticipated your shock.
    In the first reported case of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Iowa, In re Ralph, 1 Morris 1 (Iowa 1839), we refused to treat a human being as property to enforce a contract for slavery and held our laws must extend equal protection to persons of all races and conditions. 1 Morris at 9. This decision was seventeen years before the United States Supreme Court infamously decided Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 15 L. Ed. 691 (1856), which upheld the rights of a slave owner to treat a person as property. Similarly, in Clark v. Board of Directors, 24 Iowa 266 (1868), and Coger v. North West. Union Packet Co., 37 Iowa 145 (1873), we struck blows to the concept of segregation long before the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954). Iowa was also the first state in the nation to admit a woman to the practice of law, doing so in 1869. Admission of Women to the Bar, 1 Chicago Law Times 76, 76 (1887). Her admission occurred three years before the United States Supreme Court affirmed the State of Illinois’ decision to deny women admission to the practice of law, see Bradwell v. Illinois, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 130, 139, 21 L. Ed. 442, 445 (1873), and twenty-five years before the United States Supreme Court affirmed the refusal of the Commonwealth of Virginia to admit women into the practice of law, see Ex parte Lockwood, 154 U.S. 116, 118, 14 S. Ct. 1082, 1083, 38 L. Ed. 929, 930 (1894). In each of those instances, our state approached a fork in the road toward fulfillment of our constitution’s ideals and reaffirmed the “absolute equality of all” persons before the law as “the very foundation principle of our government.” 4 See Coger, 37 Iowa at 153.

  • ThrackThrack Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    In related news
    Gay-marriage bill in Vermont poised for veto
    BOSTON (Reuters) - The Vermont House of Representatives passed a bill late on Thursday that would legalize gay marriage, but supporters failed to get enough votes to override a veto threat from the governor.

    Lawmakers in the Democratic-led House voted 95-52 in support of the measure, which had already passed the state Senate by a 26-4 vote. Advocates were five votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

    Vermont may still get gay marriage soon but it looks like it might not be this year.
    My wife read an article yesterday that said some of the lawmakers that voted against the bill would actually vote in favor of overriding the veto. They voted against the bill because it was the will of the constituants in their districts but they also feel the majority of the state has spoken and don't think the governor should go against the will of the people.
    I'll see if I can dig up the article.

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  • TachTach Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Iowa's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. River City Boys Band thrilled.

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  • Nimble CatNimble Cat Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    This was great news to wake up to this morning.

  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Nimble Cat wrote: »
    This was great news to wake up to this morning.

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  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood Living Proof That Sometimes Friends Are Mean.Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Brian888 wrote: »
    I wish we had a few more reactionary conservatives posting on PA. I want to drink their sweet, sweet tears over this decision.
    The SE thread has that silly old Deacon in it. I guess you guys ran him out or something.

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  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Brian888 wrote: »
    I wish we had a few more reactionary conservatives posting on PA. I want to drink their sweet, sweet tears over this decision.

    They keep getting banned.

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  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Now I'm getting all misty eyed.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    Now I'm getting all misty eyed.

    Was that meant to be a pun?

    I don't know if pun is the right word.

  • HachfaceHachface Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Cloudman wrote: »
    Brian888 wrote: »
    I wish we had a few more reactionary conservatives posting on PA. I want to drink their sweet, sweet tears over this decision.
    The SE thread has that silly old Deacon in it. I guess you guys ran him out or something.

    I can't wait for Obs's perspective. I am actually on the edge of my seat.

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