Iowa Supreme Court : Can't Ban Gay Marriage

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

The Iowa Supreme Court says the state's same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples, making it the third state where gay marriage is legal.

In a unanimous ruling issued Friday, the court upheld a 2007 Polk County District Court judge's ruling that the law violated the state constitution.

How Appealing has more, including this link to the decision (pdf).

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    Nice (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:46:00 AM EST
    Des Moines = the next San Franscico? That would be terrific!  And probably much to the surprise of those who consider most of the US as "flyover country".

    Congrats to Iowa!

    Since I like Iowa (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:33:23 AM EST
    I will point to a rather notable section of the court's opinion:

    In the first reported case of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Iowa, In re Ralph, 1 Morris 1 (Iowa 1839), we refused to treat a human being as property to enforce a contract for slavery and held our laws must extend equal protection to persons of all races and conditions. 1 Morris at 9. This decision was seventeen years before the United States Supreme Court infamously decided Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 15 L. Ed. 691 (1856), which upheld the rights of a slave owner to treat a person as property. Similarly, in Clark v. Board of Directors, 24 Iowa 266 (1868), and Coger v. North West. Union Packet Co., 37 Iowa 145 (1873), we struck blows to the concept of segregation long before the United States Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954). Iowa was also the first state in the nation to admit a woman to the practice of law, doing so in 1869. Admission of Women to the Bar, 1 Chicago Law Times 76, 76 (1887). Her admission occurred three years before the United States Supreme Court affirmed the State of Illinois' decision to deny women admission to the practice of law, see Bradwell v. Illinois, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 130, 139, 21 L. Ed. 442, 445 (1873), and twenty-five years before the United States Supreme Court affirmed the refusal of the Commonwealth of Virginia to admit women into the practice of law, see Ex parte Lockwood, 154 U.S. 116, 118, 14 S. Ct. 1082, 1083, 38 L. Ed. 929, 930 (1894). In each of those instances, our state approached a fork in the road toward fulfillment of our constitution's ideals and reaffirmed the "absolute equality of all" persons before the law as "the very foundation principle of our government." See Coger, 37 Iowa at 153.

    Unanimous too (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:36:27 AM EST
    The bigots can't win this one in the end.

    As a wag wrote me (none / 0) (#23)
    by scribe on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:04:05 PM EST
    If you build it, they will come.  And clean up the yard, put in a perfect garden complete with heirloom veggies, renovate, rehabilitate, redecorate, open nice little stores and coffee shops and galleries, give excellent fashion advice, make splendid food, turn you on to fascinating new music, rearrange your flowers and otherwise turn dull, pedestrian suburban Iowa into a really cool place.

    And get married if they choose to.


    And if you come to Des Moine (none / 0) (#27)
    by SOS on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:19:46 PM EST

    Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.


    What I like is that judicial precedent... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by magster on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:50:08 AM EST
    from the various states are accumulating with the same result.  Other state supreme courts will have a harder time going the other way without looking brazenly political.

    It's also a very interesting decision (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by scribe on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:11:42 AM EST
    given the way it's written.  In the first part of the opinion it's like the Supreme Court was taking every wingnut objection that could be made along the lines of "activism" and refuting it by specific citations to Iowa legal history.

    This is one where "did you bother to read the opinion before criticizing it?" will be very effective to shutting up the odd intellectually-honest wingnut, who might have to concede that, indeed, the decision is firmly grounded in history and not some wild-eyed activism.

    Not that there are many of those intellectually-honest folks left among wingnuts, mind you, but it's still a good comeback to their vitriol.

    I see from Think Progress (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Farmboy on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 02:32:27 PM EST
    that Rep. Steve King's head has exploded.  Heh.

    I'm kinda proud of my state right now.

    Mother Nature (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by nellre on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:31:50 PM EST
    How many people would support a law that said you had to be 5'5" tall or better to marry?
    My point is Mother Nature decides who is gay or lesbian and who is not and it's not nice to mess with Mother Nature.

    Could this actually be discriminating some gays? (2.00 / 1) (#36)
    by DifferentLight on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:05:28 PM EST
    It is one thing to say gay people should be able to marry whoever they want, and completely other thing to say they are incapable of a fulfilling relationship with a member of the opposite sex. The Supreme Court decision read "Under such a law, gay or lesbian individuals cannot simultaneously fulfill their deeply felt need for a committed personal relationship." I'm very happily married to a woman and very fulfilled even though I am primarily attracted to men. For Iowa to say I am incapable of such a relationship is discriminatory. I wish they could have just said that anyone should be able to marry anyone they chose rather than saying I am incapable of loving my wife.

    Um, I think that's the craziest thing (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:17:21 PM EST
    I've read all week.

    Crazy? (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:42:05 PM EST

    It is certainly not an unusual situation. Unusual angle though to show how wrong the state can be when it comes to justifying conventional marriage legislation.


    Arguing about a minor semantic (none / 0) (#42)
    by tigercourse on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:45:32 PM EST
    issue in a ruling that just gave you (however temporarily) a whole host of rights that have always been denied is missing the forrest for the trees, in my opinion.

    Hardly Semantic (none / 0) (#45)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:58:52 PM EST
    It unveils the whole absurdity of DOMA and the state dictating about what is natural when it comes to love. Dictating that gays cannot love the opposite sex is just as ridiculous as saying that marriage is something that only men and women do.

    Also variation of human relationships is normal today, and this comment reflects popular non judgmental thinking among most younger people regarding relationships and marriage. Clearly the DOMA mentality is predominantly held by those close to the grave, aka the leave it to beaver generation.


    I suggest you read the comment again (none / 0) (#43)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:49:41 PM EST
    and perhaps visit his blog to get an idea of where he's coming from. "Crazy" is probably charitable.

    Read it Twice (none / 0) (#46)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 02:01:03 PM EST
    I will trust you that his blog is crazy tho. I am not so interested in anything more than the comment I will leave his blog to others more interested.

    You are being disingenuous (none / 0) (#49)
    by mexboy on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:17:51 PM EST
    Why not be as clear about your beliefs here as you are in your blog?

    This is you, writing in your blog:

    We must accept Christ and take upon us his name.5 One of the greatest joys is found in the family, which is one reason we are commanded to multiply and replenish the Earth.

    I don't believe your reasons for being with a woman have anything to do with the desires of your heart (since you say you are gay), but with your beliefs that God wants you to marry a woman.

    I wish they could have just said that anyone should be able to marry anyone they chose rather than saying I am incapable of loving my wife.

    The Iowa supreme Court said no such thing. People love a lot of things, chocolate, pets, alcohol etc. And many times people also substitute those things for the desire of their hearts.

    You absolutely have the right to marry whoever you want. That's not what this is about. This is about your beliefs and the covert way you go about to try and influence the way society treats gays and the way gays think about themselves.

    I know the language well from my years in the evangelical movement and it is obvious to me you believe being gay is a sin. I find this very sad.

    I suggest you write honestly next time.

    Congrats Iowa!
    You did the right thing!


    You have no right to judge me (none / 0) (#55)
    by DifferentLight on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:57:20 PM EST
    "I don't believe your reasons for being with a woman have anything to do with the desires of your heart (since you say you are gay), but with your beliefs that God wants you to marry a woman."

    Wow.  You don't even know who I am, and now you are saying my marriage has nothing to do with the desires of my heart.  You don't know me.  I love my wife with all of my heart.  You have no place to judge me.

    "it is obvious to me you believe being gay is a sin"

    Heck no!  No one chooses to be gay, so it couldn't possibly be a sin.  Even so, I don't think the government to legislate against sin.  At the same time, I don't think they should say the ban against same-sex marriage places "civil marriage outside the realistic reach of gay and lesbian individuals" without acknowledging that some people who were gay are now happily married.


    I'm not judging you (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by mexboy on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:09:52 PM EST
    I am saying I don't believe you!
    Read my post again.  

    Your post here is incongruent with your blog and like I said in my post I am a recovering evangelical. I know the language. I am quite familiar with love the sinner hate the sin warped mentality. I practiced it!

    ... without acknowledging that some people who were gay are now happily married.

    Are you saying straight people can turn gay and be happily married to a member of the same sex? It would be ridiculous to say  otherwise with your belief system.

    Again, I don't believe you. I don't think you're being honest and I think you have a covert agenda to your religion.

    I'd have respect for you if you just said here what you preach in your blog.


    I wouldn't (none / 0) (#61)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 08:12:10 PM EST
    It's a destructive mentality.

    You are bisexual (none / 0) (#53)
    by MrConservative on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:46:08 PM EST
    Not gay.  The ruling doesn't restrict you in any way.  That's absurd.  I could marry a guy, and I'm perfectly straight.  The general idea was that SOME PEOPLE are SOLEY attracted to members of the same sex, and this infringes on THEIR rights.  If you are primarily attracted to members of the same sex but still want to marry someone of the opposite sex, that is fine.  If you are soley attracted to members of the same sex but want to marry someone of the opposite sex, that is fine as well.  You are reading the opinion wrong.  The fact that you can't marry a man even if you wanted to IS a restriction on your rights, expanding that does nothing to harm you.

    It doesn't restrict, but it denies my existence (2.00 / 1) (#57)
    by DifferentLight on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 04:07:59 PM EST
    I realize legally that this doesn't restrict me in any way.  What it does is it takes away my dignity.  I have lots of other friends in similar situations.  Many are afraid to come out, because people will say they aren't being true to themselves.  Many can't even tell their wives for fear that they will leave them.  I even have friends whose wives left them when they found out they were gay.

    Whether I am currently gay or bisexual I really don't care.  I know I was 100% when I was younger, and there other gay men who want to have wives but believe they couldn't because they were gay.  The ruling said that a ban of same-sex marriage places "civil marriage outside the realistic reach of gay and lesbian individuals."  That is not true and is damaging to gay and lesbian individuals who seek marriage with the opposite sex.


    Only (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 05:52:29 PM EST
    to the extent you choose to self-identify as gay or lesbian rather than bisexual.  I'm not sure why anyone who self-identifies as bisexual would think that sentence was even about them.

    The court clearly wasn't even thinking about bisexual individuals when it wrote that particular sentence.  Do you honestly feel that your marriage has been damaged or your dignity has been lost because of that sentence?

    It's a simple fact of life that not everyone is going to be comfortable with their spouse announcing that they're gay or bisexual.  If I told my wife that I love her dearly but, truth be told, I actually feel a stronger attraction to men, I'm not sure how she would react.  But I don't think her reaction would have anything to do with what the Iowa Supreme Court wrote in some opinion.

    It's not like if the court changed that sentence, suddenly no one would have to worry about their spouse leaving them in such a situation.  The sentence isn't the problem.


    You hit the nail on the head, Steve. (none / 0) (#60)
    by mexboy on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:12:19 PM EST
    Well it's all about YOU, isn't it. (none / 0) (#66)
    by jussumbody on Sat Apr 04, 2009 at 10:04:13 AM EST
    I'm sorry the judges didn't think to write their opinion in a way that affirms your existence.  They just got carried away with their frivolous obsession with equal rights.

    And for that matter, I'm sorry my ignorance of your personal achievement in maintaining a marriage to a woman led me to believe I should have the right to form a family with any damn consenting adult I pleased.  I'll try to do better in the future.

    But seriously, your level of self-involvement is truly astounding.  What is it with you log cabin types?  You seem to think you should get a merit badge from god for finding the redeeming values in the oppression to which all of us are subjected.


    State constitution (none / 0) (#4)
    by waldenpond on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:54:41 AM EST
    I'm from California, so I have a wait and see attitude.  If it is a violation of the Iowa State constitution, will there be a movement for another Prop 8 to change the State constitution?  If it can be done in 'liberal' California, a push for amending the State constitution may work.

    Unlike the mob democracy nightmare of CA (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:58:16 AM EST
    it would apparently take years to pass a similar measure in Iowa, even if it had broad support.

    The next generation (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by waldenpond on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:03:53 AM EST
    I was encouraged by the vote of the younger generation in CA (18-29).  Once you get us old foggies out of the way, there will be greater progress on this issue.

    I think the damage might be undoable in CA (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:07:25 AM EST
    unless there is a federal solution. But that's not any different than changing the rules in the south.

    Isn't the decision on Prop 8 due any day now? (none / 0) (#10)
    by magster on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:17:23 AM EST
    I'm not sure exactly (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:19:25 AM EST
    But I am not hopeful.

    Oral argument was March 5. (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:29:19 AM EST
    Court's deadline to file the opinion is 90 dayss from March 5.

    2012 at the very earliest (none / 0) (#8)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:10:24 AM EST
    Opponents have long argued that allowing gay marriage would erode the institution. Some Iowa lawmakers, mostly Republicans, attempted last year to launch a constitutional amendment to specifically prohibit same-sex marriage.

    Such a change would require approval in consecutive legislative sessions and a public vote, which means a ban would could not be put in place until at least 2012 unless lawmakers take up the issue in the next few weeks.


    Dems control the legislature and would block any attempt this session.


    Are you as surprised as I am (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:38:53 AM EST
    the Iowa Supreme Court upheld same sex marriage on state constitutional grounds?  

    Not really... (none / 0) (#21)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:49:10 AM EST
    ...if you look at the make-up of the ISC, they are all fairly recent appointees.  No hold-overs from the Ray/Brandstad eras.  

    But still--they are in Iowa. (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:51:15 AM EST
    Are Iowa Supreme Court justices required to stand for election and/or subject to recall?  

    Could be they're... (none / 0) (#34)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:53:04 PM EST
    ...all DFH's that got their law degrees in that den of sin that is Iowa City, Oculus.  

    Obviously, that enviroment had a profound effect on me.  :)


    Got to run this by my step-mother. (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:57:33 PM EST
    Maybe Iowa changed since I left along time ago.  Obama did win the IA caucuses.

    Well... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:12:04 PM EST
    ...lots of people have moved into Des Moines and the surrounding areas from places like California and the out East.  Lots of immigrants these days too, from places like South America, Eastern Europe and the like, but one would think a good deal of them would be religious conservatives.  

    Hard to say.  I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it and let us know!


    My mistake... (none / 0) (#54)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:50:02 PM EST
    ...two Brandstad appointees, including the Chief Justice.  

    Takes a bit of wind out of the sails of the "activist judge" argument.  Certainly doesn't bode well for a constitutional amendment chances if two Republican appointed judges favored this ruling.  


    No. Judge Hansen wrote an excellent opinion. (none / 0) (#32)
    by JSN on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:42:37 PM EST
    The are judicial retention elections in Iowa but I don't think the
    justices need to be concerned about that. The Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1988 and a lot of the folks that supported it then are either dead have become indifferent.

    A bill to amend the constitution has to pass with identical language in two sessions of the legislature before it can be put on the ballot.
    The decision was announced after the deadline for new bills had past.

    I am about 85% confident that it is over.


    you must be kidding (none / 0) (#30)
    by jussumbody on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:36:59 PM EST
    While it's very heartening that there are judges somewhere in this country willing to do justice, there is no way gay marriage will not be banned in the Iowa constitution, even if it takes 3 years.  

    The 'crats in charge of the Iowa lege, even if they stay in power, are definitely going to be surrender monkeys to the Republicans on this.
    Iowa is not Mass.  California is not even Mass.  Just look at the cowardice and doubletalk of Mr Inspiration (I should say Preznit Inspriation) on this issue during the Prop 8 campaign.  70% of California blacks voted for Prop 8.  There was no way those people were not going to vote for Obama.  Obama could have make the difference between pass or fail, and he sat on his hands.


    What is the requirement for passing an amendment? (none / 0) (#52)
    by MrConservative on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:37:50 PM EST
    I have no doubt that they can get 2/3 in both houses.  But it will be more difficult to get 2/3 of the people.  It still leans strongly towards them passing the amendment, but things can change in 3 years.

    There may be but they can't even try (none / 0) (#24)
    by lilybart on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:12:22 PM EST
    until best case, 2012, the way the Iowa ammendment process works.

    By then, it will be....and we care because?

    Once it has been law for many years, will anyone care anymore because NOTHING bad will happen to anyone because of this. And the economy will be better for the new wedding spending!


    Welll (none / 0) (#51)
    by MrConservative on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:35:22 PM EST
    Amendments in California require a mere majority.  The only basic difference between  constitution and statute in California is that amendments require more signatures before they can be put on the ballot.  It is a foolishly loose requirement for constitutional amendment, IMHO.

    I'm pretty sure most other state constitutions require a super majority.  Can Iowa get 2/3 of both houses and 2/3 of the people in the state to vote for a constitional amendment to do this?  Outside of the deep south, that is going to be very difficult.


    Here's the problem. Only 30% of Iowans (none / 0) (#12)
    by tigercourse on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:26:32 AM EST
    support Gay Marriage. If the conservatives get this on any kind of ballot initiative within the next decade or so (it's not as easy as in California, but they can do it) the voters will change the constitution.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#14)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:32:17 AM EST
    Just because someone says they favor civil unions rather than gay marriage, that hardly guarantees that they're going to vote in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  This issue cannot possibly get onto the ballot before November 2013 at the earliest, and even if it does, by that point I am quite confident that a majority of Iowans will be willing to live and let live.

    I think if the Democrats continue to control (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:35:44 AM EST
    even one branch of the legislature, it will never get on the ballot. This is why Pennsylvania, which has a similar amendment process, has never gotten a marriage ban.

    In California, 4 months before the vote, (none / 0) (#19)
    by tigercourse on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:39:07 AM EST
    51% supported Gay Marriage. And they still lost. That's 23% better then in Iowa. I don't see that huge a shift within 4 years.

    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:39:58 PM EST
    I don't see this as a mathematical exercise.  I see it as most Iowans not being in the mood to upset the status quo by the time 2013 rolls around, assuming it even happens in 2013.  Different state, different time frame, different set of rules.

    I am actually pretty confident about this but we can agree to disagree.


    How effective would an amendment be? (none / 0) (#68)
    by the steamer on Sun Apr 05, 2009 at 02:23:44 AM EST
    It seems the amendment to the Constitution would need to be to the equal protection clause, something to the effect of "All Iowans are equal but some are more equal than others".  Based on the unanimous ruling, I don't see how the Supreme Court would accept such a change.  If they chose to reverse the decision, Iowa would be better off scrapping it's own constitution and picking up ...say... Missouri's.

    I also understand that Iowa is a (none / 0) (#38)
    by hairspray on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:16:46 PM EST
    strong "pro-life" state.  Seems to be a strong fundamentalist river running through it.  Some very liberal political Democrats there tho' but not the majority from what I have read.

    That's not true (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:29:57 PM EST
    For example, this 2005 poll found that Iowans favor the pro-choice position by a margin of 56% to 41%, which puts them basically dabsmack in the middle of national opinion.

    I'm not sure... (none / 0) (#44)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:51:40 PM EST
    ...where you're getting your "understanding" about Iowa from, but you need a whole lot better sources.  

    Maybe you are thinking about Idaho. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Romberry on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 09:54:44 PM EST
    Idaho, thought it also starts with an "I" and has that "Oh" sound is a whole 'nother kettle O' fish when compared to Iowa. Look up author/writer/reporter/blogger David Neiwert for some very good stuff on Idaho, eastern Washington State and things like the militia movement and fundamentalist ideologies.

    No actually I do know the difference (none / 0) (#67)
    by hairspray on Sat Apr 04, 2009 at 03:37:39 PM EST
    between the states, but in the past there have been some pro life movements in Iowa.  They went Republican for Bush and while I should look into their polling more carefully, I know Iowans who are quite conservative.  Not very scientific I admit.

    Not going to happen any time soon (none / 0) (#48)
    by Exeter on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 02:55:17 PM EST

    Des Moines Reg:
    Amendments need to be approved by simple majorities in both the House and Senate in two consecutive general assemblies, then must be approved by a simple majority of voters in the next general election. Each general assembly lasts for two years. This year is the second year of the current general assembly. That means if an amendment is approved this year and in the 2009 or 2010 legislative session, it can be on the general election ballot in November 2010. If lawmakers wait until 2009 to start the amendment process, the earliest that a proposed amendment could reach voters is November 2012.

    That's assuming that it passes both the Democratically controlled House and Senate, where it likely would never get out of committee.


    The Fall 2008 Hawkeye survey results are (none / 0) (#50)
    by JSN on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:34:51 PM EST
    a) 36.7% of Iowans oppose gay marriage
    b) 26.2% support gay marriage
    c) 27.9% oppose gay marriage but support civil unions
    d) 9.2% were undecided or refused to answer.

    If there is a large turnout by the under 30 voters the amendment to ban gay marriage will be defeated. You are assuming that the conservative elder voters will vote for the amendment. That may not be a good assumption because some of them have gay children and grandchildren and they have learned that lifetime friends are gay.


    Iowa Poll (none / 0) (#56)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 04:00:49 PM EST
    The Register's poll shows that 48 percent of adults favor changing the Iowa Constitution to ban gay marriage, while 47 percent were opposed and 5 percent were unsure.



    Vermont is unlikely, sorry to say (none / 0) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:42:07 AM EST
    The Senate will easily override Douglas's veto, but the House didn't make it to 2/3 in the vote, and some Republicans who voted for it won't vote to override their governor's veto.  There's still a chance, but it's a very long one at this point.

    What's so stupid is that the bill has zero effect on anything but terminology.  Civil unions are 100 percent identical to marriage in Vermont.  So the whole fight is just over whether the term "marriage" can be used in legal documents.  The one small legal advantage is if another state, like I've been told neighboring NY state has announced, decides to recognize "marriages" in another state but not civil unions.

    If they do fail to override the veto, it won't come up again until the next legislative session in two years.  It will happen sometime in the next few years, since what opposition there is is dwindling. It's just infuriating that the moron governor is among the dwindling few and determined to have his way on it.

    Iowa is more progressive then (none / 0) (#25)
    by SOS on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:16:06 PM EST

    Never thought I would see that day.

    I guess L.A. isn't shaping the (none / 0) (#26)
    by SOS on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:18:48 PM EST
    National Consciousness anymore?

    Finally some good news (none / 0) (#28)
    by ericinatl on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:22:24 PM EST
    This took me a bit by surprise.  But a very happy surprise.  As someone else has noted, Prop 8 has taken a bit of wind out of our sails (and mutes any celebration as we wait for the other shoe to drop), but justice has a way of marching on.  Congrats to Iowa!

    I suppose asome Iowans will still say (none / 0) (#29)
    by SOS on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:24:39 PM EST
    you work with the "organs" you have not the ones you wish you had.

    The other thing is to (none / 0) (#33)
    by SOS on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:43:24 PM EST
    keep in mind domestic partnerships have benefits and legal rights also. Many are very successful.

    It's more dynamic in nature and your not locked into all the limits and got cha's a traditional marriage mindset imposes on you.

    Iowa amendment process (none / 0) (#62)
    by CornfedPi on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 09:22:21 PM EST
    Simple majorities of both houses of the General Assembly must approve an amendment, followed by a general election, followed by simple majorities of both houses of the next General Assembly (not just a different session, as stated in other comments) must approve the same amendment, which is then submitted to the voters, simple majority vote enacts or defeats the amended.

    So, theoretically, next year's session of the assembly could approve an amendment, then there's an election in Nov 2010, then the first session of the following assembly could also approve an amendment and then put it to an election by the voters -- which does not have to wait until the fall.  Today's ruling cannot be reversed by constitutional amendment for at least two years.

    But, the Dems nevertheless totally dodged the issue.  They control both houses of the legislature and the governorship, but just two weeks ago a bill to strike the opposite-sex limitation on marriage died without even getting a committee vote.

    great (none / 0) (#63)
    by diogenes on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 09:44:14 PM EST
    Now gays can pay the marriage penalty and pay divorce lawyers when they want to split up, as well as having messy financial settlements/alimony.  Congrats.
    Out of curiosity, do married gay couples in Massachusetts pay Massachusetts state income tax at the married rate for the household?

    Yes (none / 0) (#69)
    by CST on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 02:49:19 PM EST
    gay couples in Massachusetts pay Massachusetts state income tax at the married rate if they are married.

    Also - we have the lowest divorce rate in the country (of states D.C. is lower) - you know, since we destroyed marriage and all that.


    Yes (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 02:51:46 PM EST
    I always am amused that the family value states, aka red states, rank the highest in divorce.