Friday, April 03, 2009

Great News from Iowa!

The Iowa Supreme Court upheld a 2007 ruling that marriage should not be limited to one man and one woman this morning!

This means that in Iowa, gay marriage will now be legal starting April 24th. And, no residency requirements. This is great news for the GLBT community and for everyone in this country who believes in equal rights for all.

New Jersey, Vermont and New Hampshire may be next if all goes well. However, Vermont will have to contend with a possible veto by the governor.

"Vermont's Senate this week joined the House in overwhelmingly voting in favor of gay marriage, though it's unclear whether a threatened veto by Gov. Jim Douglas can be overridden. New Hampshire's House passed a marriage bill in March, which now awaits a Senate vote. In New Jersey, Gov. Jon Corzine has pledged to sign a gay marriage bill that has been introduced in the legislature."

It's happening, people - one state at a time!


Mnmom said...

It's also great news for Iowa's tourism industry. All those wonderful gay couples traveling to Iowa and booking hotels, wedding sites, caterers, etc. Talk about a boost to local economy!!

Mauigirl said...

Absolutely! It's great all the way around!

Deb said...

Of all places in the US...Iowa! Who would have thought it?

Tom Harper said...

This time the rednecks can't blame it on "those moonbats" in Iowa. It's easy for them to slam liberal states like Massachusetts and California. But what are they gonna say about Iowa?

Annette said...

This is exactly what Pres. Obama said.. this was a state matter and should be handled this way. Again he was trying to tell us all something and we doubted him. By doing it this way, one state at a time it will be easier for the country to change than trying to change the country all at once.

Mauigirl said...

Deb, I know! Who'd have thought Iowa?

Tom - so true - they can't say it's one of those leftie states.

Annette - Exactly. And once a critical mass of states is reached there will be a tipping point; at that point if the Supreme Court rules the few remaining states have unconstitutional laws then it will be accepted by the whole country.

Fran said...

This one State at a time business is both slow, and messy. I view it as passing the buck.
I view it as similar to the Civil Rights movement.

Oregon (my state) for instance, passed a gay marriage law, in Multnomah county (Portland). Hooray! Lots of folks got married.
Out of state anti gay gropus challeneged it & put a one man , one woman (with like bathroom people logos for their symbols) & passed it, which then overturned the previous marriages.
Then they tried to get a civil union thing passed, and again out of state anti gay factions tried to fight it in court-- not on the merits of the case, but of how signatures were collected.

All these steps involved both costly and lengthy court cases. It was almost thrown out, but the judge denied the appeal & the civil union clause was passed.

The state by state thing is awful because what if a married couple tries to files taxes in a non gay marriage state?

Laws and rights would be upheld in some states but not others?

Sorry after seeing this firsthand. I wish the federal government would step up to this very basic civil right. stop discriminating & make it a federal law of the land.

Signed, Equal rights for everyone.

Fran said...

P. S. The tax example is just one thing. Other rights are health insurance, child adoption, medical decisionmaking, and a whole host of other important things that go along with marriage.

susan said...

This is very good news. In general most people are much more fair minded than the media has ever said.

They may even go looking for pitchforks in the not too distant future.

Christopher said...

It's fascinating to me that Iowa is moving down the path to gay marriage equality while my homestate of California -- once consider a beacon for social fairness and justice, grapples with the issue.

While I cheer my gay and lesbian bothers and sisters, I say enjoy it now.

I will bet anyone $100 dollars the Mormon bigots are already preparing to insert themselves into the social fabric of Iowa and fund an effort to role back civil liberties for Iowa same-sex couples.

Mauigirl said...

Fran, it is a messy, expensive, process, for sure. And of course it would be the right thing to do to make it a federal law. But I can also see the merits of doing it state by state, in the beginning only. Looking back at Roe v. Wade, maybe things would have been less contentious for the last 35 years if that decision had been made a little further down the road, after more states had legalized it (I think when that decision was handed down only New York State allowed abortions, if I recall correctly). Not saying it shouldn't be a federal law, just feeling it has to reach that tipping point first.

Christopher, I know, California should be leading this - and it was, before the Mormons got involved and Prop 8 passed. I was wondering whether something like this would happen in Iowa as well. But I think the GLBT community and all the supporters of gay rights are on notice this time and if there is a movement to rescind this right I think more money and effort will be poured in to Iowa to keep that from happening. Iowa is a smaller state, which would help. My fingers are crossed that it doesn't become necessary though!

Mauigirl said...

Susan, sorry, meant to answer you as well! I think you're right that there are many more fair-minded people than we may expect. The other learning I take from this is that when the decision is given to impartial judges who debate it on its merits, it is obviously a civil right that should be granted. It just goes to show that all the rhetoric against gay marriage is not founded in any legal basis whatsoever and is completely emotionally based.

That is why, IMO, basic civil rights should always be decided by the courts, not by a vote of the people. That's what went wrongin California. The people are too easily influenced and riled up and these are the kinds of decisions that should not be reflecting the views of the majority for that reason.

Randal Graves said...

I suppose none of you have thought of a new scourge on the horizon.

Gay corn!

MRMacrum said...

It is an issue that has to be decided at the state level first before the Feds even consider sticking their nose into it.

Maine is beginning hearings I think next week to one more time put a gay marriage referendum on the next state wide ballot. Maybe this time it will pass and we can move on to something else.

In line with Randal's comment though, I wonder if the [i]Gay Corn[/i] is going to have to be stored in approriately decorated silos.

Fran said...

My point is that when you have a State by State mish-mosh of widely varying laws, it can create major legal problems.
Iowa recognizes the marriages as legal, but Alabama does not.

Can an adopted child be removed from the family?

Spousal health insurance revoked?

If you are a gay married couple in Iowa, can you then both Ask AND Tell in the MIlitary? (as opposed to the current Don't ask, don't tell policy???)

Without the right being a Federal law of the land,
the rights of marriage become regional?

Would hetero couples accept the same scenario?

Yes it;s progress, but spotty at best & I watched my State take the legal roller coaster ride.... and it was always out of state hate groups doing the appeals to overturn gay rights, etc.

Bee said...

Since 1/2/09, I've become convinced of something, that something being that Obama believes that real change has to come slowly, or the chuckleheads in this country freak out disproportionately, and muck everything up. His stance of gay marriage at the civil union stage, and leaving it to the states for now, well, I see that as a "slow change" pill. Almost a "sneak it in" and let people get used to it before going whole hog and casting a constitutional amendment. After all, we still don't have that Equal Rights Amendment that has been fought so hard for over the last several decades. We have a hodge-podge of various federal and state laws which make various forms of discrimination against women illegal. Sometimes that hodgepodge of laws works, sometimes it doesn't. Ex.: we still get paid less than men for the same job, so clearly the hodgepodge doesn't work there. However, we can take (granted, unpaid) medical leave (with certain restrictions - size of company, time at job, etc.) for maternity leave, or to care for an elderly parent, or a sick child, etc. without getting canned for it. For women, there has been progress, but it hasn't been easy, and every single step came with a big fat fight. Gay marriage will be the same, I think, for the foreseeable future.
But Obama kind of changed the game - IRL, I'm seeing some attitudes changing amongst people I know, and I think those attitudes changed because suddenly everyone has license to be a...nicer person, rather than a raving asshat, which was kind of demanded from them by govn't, media, etc. for the past 8 years. I think that may be what we're seeing in Iowa, because who would have thought 4 years ago that Iowa's Supreme Court would do this good, right thing now??

cconz said...

I am so proud to be living in Iowa. I can say, get rid of the old stereo type of Iowans. Most are full of common sense. Something that alot of people lack!!