Friday, 3 April 2009

The State of Iowa Endorses Change

Iowa's Supreme Court legalised gay marriage today in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state - and the first in the heartland of the United States - to allow same-sex couples to wed. In its decision, the high court upheld a lower court's ruling that found a state law restricting marriage to between a man and woman violated Iowa's 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," the Supreme Court wrote in its decision. "The Legislature has excluded a historically disfavoured class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification." This ruling is symbolic because Iowa it was that first endorsed Barack Obama, who against all expectations at the time of Iowa's endorsement went on to win the Democratic nomination and eventually the Presidency.

4 comments:

C'est moi said...

YES!!

CodLiverOil said...

Beyond the symbolism, is there any deeper meaning to Iowa allowing marriage between same sex couples?

Anengiyefa said...

Hi CodLiverOil,
Iowa is bang in the middle of the heartland of the United States. It is a relativesly small state, far removed from the cultural and ethnic plurality of the East and the West coast areas. This state conjures images of conservative, church going families who enjoy picnics and drink milk. It is not the norm for new cultural trends and innovations to emerge from a state such as this. The only other states to approve same sex unions in the way Iowa has done are liberal and cosmopolitan Massachusetts and Connecticut. Surely, what Iowa has done is clear proof that even conservative mid-west America can recognise that there is no justification for denying same-sex couples the right to the benefits of a spousal relationship. This I think is the deeper meaning.

CodLiverOil said...

Anengiyefa,
Thank you for the in-depth analysis and explanation. Now I understand.