Monday, April 06, 2009

Iowa Decency

Here's the New York Times editorial on the Iowa Supreme decision on gay marriage...

Like the state’s earlier landmark civil rights cases — striking down slavery in 1839, for example, and segregation in 1868 and 1873 — the ruling on gay marriage by Iowa’s Supreme Court is a refreshing message of fairness and common sense from the nation’s heartland. [...]

In finding no “persuasive justification” for the different treatment of committed gay and lesbian couples, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed a lower court holding of two years ago. That ruling overturned, on equal protection grounds, a 1998 state law confining civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriages could begin in Iowa before the month is out.

The new decision says marriage is a civil contract and should not be defined by religious doctrine or views. “We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further an important governmental objective,” wrote Justice Mark Cady, a Republican appointee. “The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification.”


Professor Quest said...

Sometimes you just wonder what’s going in in high school government classes. Several rightwing commentators (Michelle Malkin, Instapundit) have been whining that liberals want to take away their free speech rights when they suggest that their “Obama gun ban” fear-mongering is in some way related to the recent shootings. Moreover, opponents of same-sex marriage keep telling us that judges shouldn’t be allowed to overrule the will of the majority.

Have these people ever bothered to study our political system or read the Consitutution? Freedom of speech only means freedom from government laws restricting free speech (Congress shall make no law…). It doesn’t mean freedom from criticism, or freedom to lie without anybody calling you out on it. Furthermore, since when have Constitutionally-guaranteed rights been subject to majority rule? You don’t vote on rights. They are guaranteed to the individual, not the mob.

Yet time after time, people spout this crap and no one in the media ever points out that they are talking nonsense.

Esther said...

Yeah, I have to agree - what are kids learning about the Constitution?! A lot of people seem to believe that it protects the rights of the majority instead of ensuring the rights of minorities. And of course no one's civil rights should be put up to a popular vote. That's totally wrong and demeaning. Just think, How many Southern states would have voted to end segregation?