Friday, April 03, 2009

Iowa legalizes same-sex marriage

In response to today's Iowa Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, religious right leader Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, called on the state's lawmakers to "pass a constitutional amendment protecting marriage."

"We need to remember that the marriage amendment movement has been many times more successful than the same-sex 'marriage' movement," Perkins said. "FRC will continue to stand with those states which are seeking to pass marriage protection amendments in order to protect our most fundamental social institution from the kind of judicial activism we saw today in Iowa."

"We urge Iowans to contact their legislators and urge them to move quickly to pass a constitutional amendment protecting marriage, joining the twenty-nine states that have already defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman in their state constitutions," stated Mr. Perkins.

"We hope the legislature will heed the powerful swell of statewide support for an amendment and reclaim from the High Court its rightful place as the state's policy making body. That's the only sure way to protect the institution of marriage from radical social engineering by state judges."
A statement today from the leaders of the Iowa state legislature casts doubt on the chance for success of Perkins' strategy.

[Via AMERICAblog]

News Release
For Immediate Release: April 3, 2008
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal
House Speaker Pat Murphy

Iowa continues to be a leader in guaranteeing civil rights

This is a joint statement from Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy on today's Supreme Court decision:

"Thanks to today's decision, Iowa continues to be a leader in guaranteeing all of our citizens' equal rights.

"The court has ruled today that when two Iowans promise to share their lives together, state law will respect that commitment, regardless of whether the couple is gay or straight.

"When all is said and done, we believe the only lasting question about today's events will be why it took us so long. It is a tough question to answer because treating everyone fairly is really a matter of Iowa common sense and Iowa common decency.

"Today, the Iowa Supreme Court has reaffirmed those Iowa values by ruling that gay and lesbian Iowans have all the same rights and responsibilities of citizenship as any other Iowan.

"Iowa has always been a leader in the area of civil rights.

"In 1839, the Iowa Supreme Court rejected slavery in a decision that found that a slave named Ralph became free when he stepped on Iowa soil, 26 years before the end of the Civil War decided the issue.

"In 1868, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that racially segregated "separate but equal" schools had no place in Iowa, 85 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.

"In 1873, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against racial discrimination in public accommodations, 91 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.

"In 1869, Iowa became the first state in the union to admit women to the practice of law.

"In the case of recognizing loving relationships between two adults, the Iowa Supreme Court is once again taking a leadership position on civil rights.

"Today, we congratulate the thousands of Iowans who now can express their love for each other and have it recognized by our laws."

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