Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gay marriage in Middle America

A judge in Iowa has struck down a ban on gay marriage and ordered one county to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

The ruling by Judge Robert Hanson concluded that the state's prohibition on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and he ordered the Polk County recorder to issue marriage licenses to six gay couples.

"This is kind of the American Dream," said plaintiff Jen BarbouRoske, of Iowa City. "I'm still feeling kind of shaky. It's pure elation, I just cannot believe it."

Camilla Taylor, an attorney with Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization, said the ruling requires "full equality for all Iowans including gay and lesbian Iowans and their families."

"The Iowa Constitution has lived up to its promises of equality for everyone," she said.

Gay couples from anywhere in Iowa could apply for a marriage license from Polk County. The process takes three days, however.


Roger J. Kuhle, an assistant Polk County attorney, argued that the issue is not for a judge to decide.

Rachel Cunningham, a spokeswoman for the conservative Iowa Family Policy Center, which opposes gay marriage, said the decision will be appealed.

"We're very disappointed and will pursue to the next level of courts," she said.

In his ruling, Hanson said the state law allowing marriage only between a man and a woman violates the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.
Imagine that. A judge has reached the conclusion that gay people should have the same rights as other citizens.

Expect the religious right to ramp up the hatred in short order. Republican presidential candidates will have to declare themselves unequivocally in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, obviously. And pictures of men kissing men and women kissing women will suddenly flood e-mail inboxes accompanying fundraising appeals from groups with the words "family," "values," "moral," and "traditional" in their names.

There's nothing like the smell of a Republican wedge issue in the morning. Smells like... bigotry.

I wonder if it has occurred to the haters that if gay men and women had the right to marry and live their lives in the open, they might not need to go trolling for anonymous, secret sex in public restrooms.

Probably not.


matrok said...

Um, not saying you are wrong, but isn't the possibility of un-emotionally attaching physical intimacy (plus - perhaps - the frisson of being in a sort of clandestine forbidden zone?) a part of the allure of 'toilet sex' - i.e. being in long-term / legal situations would not necessarily change how (some) gay men (sometimes) want sex: instant karma, and bye-bye? Just aksing, likesay...

LeftLeaningLady said...

Due process and equal protection! For everyone! What a foreign concept. Maybe one day it will be world wide reality, but I will be thankful for every tiny bit we receive now!