Monday, April 6, 2009

Iowa Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and News for Indiana

I suspect those who have been paying attention know that Iowa declared banning same-sex marriage unconstitutional but just in case you have not here is Iowa Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage from The Washington Post:

"The strongly worded decision by all seven justices of Iowa's Supreme Court moves the issue away from more liberal coastal states, where most of the legal and legislative action aimed at overturning bans on same-sex marriage has taken place. While Iowa is home to many conservative Christians and evangelicals, the decision adds to a strong liberal streak that has spawned politically progressive movements.

'Iowa really does have a very impressive visionary history when it comes to civil rights, from desegregation to public accommodation to the rights of women,' said Ben Stone, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa."
Considering how political this issue has been made of this issue, you may want to read Iowa, Same Sex Marriage and the 2012 Presidential Race (also from The Washington Post).

Those interested in the law should read the court's opinion here. I have not been reading the opinion to study it but I like the writer's style. The opinion does a very good job of explaining constitutional law, especially state constitutional law, and does a far better job of reasoning than does Indiana's opinion on the same subject. Finally, yes, there is a connection to Indiana family law. The following language comes from the Iowa opinion and Indiana has similar language in its state constitution:
B. Legal Tests to Gauge Equal Protection. The foundational principle of equal protection is expressed in article I, section 6 of the Iowa Constitution, which provides: “All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.” See also Iowa Const. art. I, § 1 (“All men and women are, by nature, free and equal . . . .”); id. art. I, § 2 (recognizing “[a]ll political power is inherent in the people” and “[g]overnment is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people”).

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