My So Called Life - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Embrace life -- both the sweet days and the bitter...embrace the joy and the sadness...the successes and the defeats -- for all of these things, both good and bad, have made you who you are.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Courts Rule In Favor Of Gay Marriage - In Iowa?!?

Yes, its true...an Iowa district court ruled today that under the current state constitution, gay and lesbian couples are allowed to marry. The court ruled that under the current constitution's guarantee of "equal treatment", the state could not deny this right to gay and lesbian couples.

Now at first, I was a little shocked that this ruling came out of Iowa. Many of us think of Iowa only in terms of corn, farming, and rural country folk, which in many minds translates into Republican. And yes, one might assume that overall Iowa seems a bit on the conservative side. But take a look at this information below taken from CNN.com:

Past General Elections -
2004: Bush (R) 50.0% Kerry (D) 49.3%
2000: Gore (D) 48.5% Bush (R) 48.2%
1996: Clinton (D) 50.3% Dole (R) 39.9%
1992: Clinton (D) 43.3% Bush (R) 37.3%
1988: Dukakis (D) 54.7% Bush (R) 44.5%
1984: Reagan (R) 53.3% Mondale (D) 45.9%
1980: Reagan (R) 51.3% Carter (D) 38.6%
1976: Ford (R) 49.5% Carter (D) 48.5%

As you can see, 2004 was the first time in 20 years that the state voted Republican. Now that does not mean that the states is necessarily "socially liberal" but it does mean that the state is not necessarily the close minded, rural state that many people associate it with.

Now perhaps, this ruling has nothing at all to do with the open mindedness or closed mindedness of the state population. Maybe this simply represents that the six gay and lesbian couples who brought forth this lawsuit lucked out and found the right judge to hear their case. It is possible that if the choice were put before the voters, they would vote to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage and define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Regardless of the true reason behind the decision, one can certainly reflect upon the following facts:

Jurisdictions in the U.S. that offer civil unions or domestic partnerships granting nearly all of the state-recognized rights of marriage to same-sex couples include
  • domestic partnership in California (2000)
  • civil unions in Vermont (2000)
  • civil unions in Connecticut (2005)
  • civil unions in New Jersey(2007)
  • civil unions in New Hampshire (2008)

States in the U.S. with domestic partnerships or similar status granting some of the rights of marriage include

  • domestic partnership in Hawaii (1997)
  • domestic partnership in Maine (2004)
  • domestic partnership in New Jersey (2004) (now available only for couples 62 and older)
  • domestic partnership in Washington (2007)
  • domestic partnership in Oregon (2008)
  • domestic partnership in District of Columbia (Washington, DC) (1992/2002).

Massachusetts is the only state that offers same-sex marriage, which was legalized in 2004.

It is sad to confess the next fact:
***Due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act or, DOMA, same-sex couples in marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships in the U.S. do not have the 1,138 rights that a married couple has under federal law.***

Remember, we are not asking for special treatment....we are simply asking for "equal treatment"...One of the ideas this country was founded upon, was the idea that all men were created equal...so, in my mind, the question still remains...

Why do we even have to ask at all???

2 Comments:

  • At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is a great post, and a great summary of the times.

     
  • At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Heather said…

    Hey little brother.

    I got a question for you. We are talking about Gay marriage in govt this week and I need to get your input if I am going to get a balanced opinion for my response.

    Can I post the question here? Or would you rather I email you?

    Let me know as soon as you can!!

    Love ya!!!

    Heather

     

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