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MadCat =^-^= MadCat =^-^=: (madcat-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-04-04 01:36:09

Word Play

I'm a very happy cat today, and this is why:

Iowa Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage

This is a major step forward for basic fairness in America, and I hope this is just the beginning. Read the Supreme Court summary here. It very succinctly states many of the reasons why denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a violation of their basic constitutional rights to equal protection under the law, and their rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

One quote from the summary I'd like to share:

"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective. The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification. There is no material fact, genuinely in dispute, that can affect this determination.

We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law. Faithfulness to that duty requires us to hold Iowa's marriage statute, Iowa Code section 595.2, violates the Iowa Constitution. To decide otherwise would be an abdication of our constitutional duty. If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded."

Here's a statement from Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy about the Supreme Court decision, which I think should apply to all Americans, not just Iowans:

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

Someday, we will all truly be equal under federal law. No more second-class status. No more legalized discrimination. Now I feel like we're one step closer to that goal. It's a long road and a long fight, but someday the idea that all people are created equal really will be a self-evident truth... not just an empty promise.

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