Iowa Marriage No Longer Limited to One Man, One Woman

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ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture
Iowa Marriage No Longer Limited to One Man, One Woman

  Iowa?   Tickle me surprised.   Go Iowa! 

   Unanimous Ruling

  

Quote:
The Iowa Supreme Court this morning unanimously upheld gays’ right to marry.

“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision.

The court rules that gay marriage would be legal in three weeks, starting April 24.

The court affirmed a Polk County District Court decision that would allow six gay couples to marry.

The ruling is viewed as a victory for the gay rights movement in Iowa and elsewhere, and a setback for social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families.

The decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the fourth nationwide, to allow same-sex marriages. Lawyers for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group that financed the court battle and represented the couples, had hoped to use a court victory to demonstrate acceptance of same-sex marriage in heartland America.

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Richard Socarides, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay civil rights, said today’s decision could set the stage for other states. Socarides was was a senior political assistant for Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin in the early 1990s.

“I think it’s significant because Iowa is considered a Midwest sate in the mainstream of American thought,” Socarides said. “Unlike states on the coasts, there’s nothing more American than Iowa. As they say during the presidential caucuses, 'As Iowa goes, so goes the nation.’”

Jingles

Quote:
The ruling is viewed as a victory for the gay rights movement in Iowa and elsewhere, and a setback for social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families.

See, that's all the social conservatives want to do. They just want to protect traditional families.Cry

I have a suggestion for the editor of the Des Moines Register: instead of "social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families.", it should read "bigotted, small-minded homophobic douchebags who cling to creepy patriarchal rituals that comfort their petty, ignorant worldview."

Or something llike that.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

   Jingles I think that pretty much gets covered in the comment section of that article.  Smile

Michelle

Oh wow, in IOWA??  Ha, that's fabulous!  Good for them!

Won't SOMEONE think of the Mormons??  Speaking of which, anyone want to lay bets on when they start fundraising for a referendum?

George Victor

Iowa also showed Obama early on that he had a real shot at presidency.

What is there about Iowa, its enlightenment (besides a pretty good university and lots and lots of corn and hogs)? Good newspapers? Recreational readers? Weak fundamentalist/evangelical churches? All of the above?

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 Michelle:   I'd say today.  :)   Though from what I've been reading with the way Iowa works it's a really difficult and looong process to get such a thing to happen. It has to go through a legislative vote which now that means getting it through a Dem controlled house.  Apparently they already had one vote to do some sort of Constituational referendum when the Repubs had the majority and even that failed.   If it does make it past the house then it has to go through two general assemblies in two different sessions.  The whole process takes years apparently and the current legislative session which is over in a couple of weeks has said they aren't voting on it so it would be months before the process could even get started.  

 From what I read if somehow people could nativigate through it all to get a referedum the earliest it could occur would be 2012 or 2013.   

 

Sven Sven's picture

My guess?  The voters will pass a state constitutional amendment prohibiting SSM (by explicitly defining marriage as "a union of one man and one woman"), thus nullifying the court's decision.  I may be wrong but I think that the likelihood of such an amendment passing in Iowa is at least as high as it was in California (where a similar referendum passed last year)...and probably higher.

The problem with amending the constitution like that is that once that it done, it is going to make it that much harder to change the law in Iowa (because constitutional amendments usually require a super-majority).  Had this been left to the legisature, a permanent right to SSM would have come much sooner.

ETA (Cross-Posted with ElizaQ): Maybe my pessimism will prove to be unfounded. Wink

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

George Victor

And the fact that Iowa is a groundbreaker goes without social explanation.  Curious absence of curiosity. And why were they a groundbreaker for Obama?

 

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

Sven wrote:

My guess?  The voters will pass a state constitutional amendment prohibiting SSM (by explicitly defining marriage as "a union of one man and one woman"), thus nullifying the court's decision.  I may be wrong but I think that the likelihood of such an amendment passing in Iowa is at least as high as it was in California (where a similar referendum passed last year)...and probably higher.

The problem with amending the constitution like that is that once that it done, it is going to make it that much harder to change the law in Iowa (because constitutional amendments usually require a super-majority).  Had this been left to the legisature, a permanent right to SSM would have come much sooner.

ETA (Cross-Posted with ElizaQ): Maybe my pessimism will prove to be unfounded. Wink

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

  No worries.  I'm getting a crash course in the differences between the Califorinia and Iowa processes this am. :)   Iowa doesn't have a ballot initiative process like California has which was one of the reasons that when the legal rulings came down a vote on the constituation happened so quickly.   It's either a law or a constitutional change.   A law just won't happen for a number of reasons with the main one now being that it would be unconstitutional.  So that leaves a constitutional change the only option. 

 If I understand the politics correctly the likelihood of the constitutional process even getting started through the Dem controlled legislature is pretty much nil, they hold a 20-30 seat advantage right now and because according to the previous vote on an ammendment the Dems were unanimous in there 'No' vote and it lost because many Republicans said 'no' as well.   So opponents would have to really start at the ground convince/ elect  the legislature, both Senate and Congress where the majority would vote yes, to even get the whole process going.  

 Don't quote me on all that. It's just what I've been reading and cobbling together.   

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

George Victor wrote:

And the fact that Iowa is a groundbreaker goes without social explanation.  Curious absence of curiosity. And why were they a groundbreaker for Obama?

 

 Yes I've been learning a lot about it's history of groundbreaking on a number of civil rights issues. It's really interesting. 

remind remind's picture

Wow, wtg Iowa!

George Victor

I'm trying to recall, from a  trip across the west in '94, whether it was Wyoming or Montana that elected the first woman state governor. And I don't think she was a Calamity Jane.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

George Victor wrote:
And why were they a groundbreaker for Obama?

1. Iowa is the first state in the primary/caucus season. Knowing that it was important to shatter the myth of Clinton's inevitability, Obama started organizing in the state over a year in advance.

2. The state has no significant African-American population, but he won it anyway (thereby putting to rest the notion that he only appealed to blacks).

3. He proved his superiority in organizing for caucuses (as opposed to primaries), which play a key role in securing the Democratic nomination. Clinton largely ignored the fact that caucus states need to be treated differently,

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

It was Wyoming. Nellie Tayloe Ross in 1924. A few days later in Texas, Miriam Amanda "Ma" Ferguson who was also the first woman to be re-elected. Montana was the first to elect a woman to the US House of Representives in 1916.

 

And no this isn't from memory. I googled it. Smile

Interesting that they were all wives of previous governors. In 1975, Ella T. Grasso (CT) was the first female governor elected who wasn't the wife or window of a previous governor.

 

George Victor

And Scott. Can you google up a SOCIAL explanation for the Iowa phenom, PARTICULARLY given the fact that few African Americans inhabit Iowa? Was it not more than a very fine display of political acumen and money?

George Victor

ElizaQ, your computer is in fine shape...anything from google on the makeup of Iowa...they may all hark back to Jefferson and the purity of purpose of the other faounding fathers?Wink

Or not?

Maysie Maysie's picture

George, GIYF.

Obama won 53% of the votes cast in Iowa. Hardly a ringing endorsement, just a majority of the votes cast. Sociologically speaking, 3% is not a significant progressive trend, one couldn't even call it a trend. Or, for some, progressive.

http://www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/results/2008GeneralResults.html

I wasn't able to find 2004 stats on that site to compare. 

Attributing this win to Obama himself may be fallacious.

If any non-Iowans out there really want to know why this happened (maybe something in the water that we can encourage other states to put in, for example Wink) then I think one's search time is better spent checking the websites of GLBTQ orgs in the larger cities in Iowa and see what they're saying about this.

George Victor

Whatever it takes to close up this fundamentally important gap in our knowledge MaysieLaughing (And sequester the vital stuff that preceded it in this forum this morning).