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April 3, 2009

Iowa Court Approves Gay Marriage, Vermont Passes Same-Sex Bill

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously decided today that a law declaring marriage to be between a man and a woman is unconstitutional, making its state the first in the Midwest to approve same-sex marriage.

The rest of this article was posted to CT's main site.


I know that social and religious conservatives are going to be up in arms over this, and they'll be ratcheting up their demands for anti-Gay "marriage amendments" at the state and federal levels.

And yet I can promise them with 100% certainty that it will not affect their lives, marriages, churches, or children ONE BIT. They will never have to worry about being denied a job because of THEIR sexual orientation. Their chuches will never be forced to marry Gay couples, any more than they are forced to marry non-Christian couples.

Perhaps the best thing for everyone to do when it comes to dealing with Gay individuals and couples is simply to obey The Golden Rule: Treat them as you yourself would wish to be treated.

Anyone who believes Chuck Anziulewicz' assurances, posted here nearby, is a fool. Remember when homosexuals began demanding the right to civil unions? Some of us said, but if they get this, they will next want marriage. The homosexuals said, of course not, we don't want marriage. What bosh! You are just hate-mongers. Expect the same here and over and over again elsewhere. The attacks on the traditional understanding of marriage and morality will continue without end, unless a clear line is drawn against this nonsense.

Actually, marriage has always been on the minds of gay couples. Civil unions were just a compromise. Few gay people were okay with falling short of full equality.

But I promise you, everything will be okay. The sky has not fallen here in MA or in CT, or in CA (where despite a gay marriage ban still has married gay couples from when it gay marriage was legal there). Straight people are still getting married and in fact, MA still has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. The world will continue to turn. It'll be okay.

What "traditional understanding of marriage?" Traditionally, it's usually been about transferring a property from one owner, the father of the blushing bride (who was certified 100% pure and often barely through puberty), to her new owner, the groom. Sometimes he did the negotiations himself, and sometimes his father did the arrangements. In other words, traditional marriage was a contract negotiation between men anyway.

Love was a nice thing for a marriage, but not considered to be a necessity. They also thought that the womb formed the sexes, that a womb that only "formed" females was defective, and nobody had ever heard of the mammalian egg until the early 19th Century. Only men created life with their "seed," a women's lot was to served their creators.

Some people want to make that traditional marital arrangement even more efficient...lol.

Now, love is the primary reason for a marriage, not the perpetuation of family dynasties, except in the Bush family...

One only has to look at the various nations across the globe Belgium,Canada,Netherkands,Norway,Sweden, Spain, South Africa, UK, Germany, France, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand,Greenland, Uruaguay, Iceland and many others. To see that the family has not been hindered nor destroyed and that same sex couples are a viable asset to society.

This is indeed good news for it reveals that true equality is being formed in the heartland. As a Chrisitan gay man I applaud the courts bold decision to say that we can not discriminate. And it is shattering the lies that gay men are only about sex and that we are out to destroy the family.

What happen in Iowa is outrageous. Those people who support Gay Marriage are not just wanting to have the right to marry. The next thing that will happen is Gay couples will sue churches that do not accept Gay Marriage. They will do this to force these churches into submission or face economic ruin. I am one person who will stand up for our 1st admendment rights. The 14th admendment has nothing to do with Gay Marriage that was not the orginal intent of it. Religous Freedom has been the foundation of our nation. People came to this country to be able to practice there faith without goverment telling them what there Faith and Pratice should be. I am one person who will stand against those who want shove Gay Marriage done on us. Like Luther at the Diet of Worms (HERE I STAND).

Mark, that is silly. I can't imagine any gay couple wanting to put the energy into suing a church because they are blocked from getting married there.

I'm gay, a lover of God, and just moved to Iowa. I'm very moved about this ruling.

Mark, you sound a bit unhinged. This ruling -- like all other legal issues regarding marriage -- has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with state law. What religions choose to do is irrelevant to the law; the law is the only thing that matters. And the courts, one after another, are realizing that gay and lesbian Americans are fully deserving of the same rights as heterosexual Americans.

In California, civil unions convey the same rights and privileges as marriages. The only "right" that is denied in the absence of same-sex marriage is the moral and religious weight of the word "marriage."
No one can realistically say that the definition of marriage has no religious significance. Marriage is, at present, inextricably linked as a religious and legal idea. The only way to really separate them is for the state to stop recognizing marriage (which is, after all, a sacrament) altogether; otherwise we're just kidding ourselves about keeping law and religion separate.

I can't believe how many ignorant liberal there are posting on this website. Do all of you people claim to be Christians? Being an Iowan, I just have three word to say to the liberal lying scum on the Iowa supreme court. This is war.

The focus of Jesus was always on what HIS followers were doing to others - the Golden Rule and his clear teachings about "what you do to the least of these..."

Modern day Christians, on the other hand. always seem to focus on what others are do to them - they seem to live in a constant state of fear, a seige mentality with sharp lines of "us" and "them," and those outside the circle are always presenting some terrible threat.

It is so interesting to note how un Christ like Some Christians are when things do not go the way they think they should. Calling people scum and saying this means war which Dan did just reveals how far his true belief is from the Sciptures. As well Mark in his anger will fight like Luther. Mark and Dan God is so much bigger fight the battles that He says and not imagined fear based thoughts steeped in anger. Remeember it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.

I hope that we can seperate church and state and just have the states give civil union lisensces for all. Then if one chooses to marry in a church then that is what they should do. Then each church due to their beliefs marry whom they choose. Thanks Iowa for paving the way.

Re: JC. About anger, Jesus used words like 'vipers' and 'whitewashed tombs' against his enemies; sounds like Jesus got angry too. Jesus never said anger is bad; that's Star Wars, not the Scriptures. The Scriptures say we should be angry at sin and its effects, like exploiting orphans - read the prophets.
And if you think the state shouldn't issue marriage licenses, how can you be happy Iowa is expanding state-issued marriages?

The problem with civil unions is that it establishes a 'separate but equal' class of people...and we know how that worked out in the past.

There is little reason to trust conservative evangelicals not to recapitulate the past...the oppressive, exploitative, segregationist past they had made in their Bible Belt...not that they were alone in that, of course. But with their hegemony in certain areas, they certainly are responsible in those areas...and they've never taken responsibility in any meaningful way that I've seen.

And why do conservative evangelicals think they "own" the definition of marriage? Especially when their claims that it was always been as they say are obviously blinkered, greedy and self serving, to put it politely.

My religion would happily marry Gay couples. Our Bible does not say what conservative evangelicals say it says...we try to read the Bible through Golden Rule lenses. We think that conservative evangelical "literal interpretation of the Bible" is pernicious nonsense...of which had its origins in the pro-slavery movement (with slight adaptions for Jim Crow) make it more than slightly suspect.

I know, there were proslavery apologists from every denomination, and no doubt a few Jewish ones as well...and most every Protestant denomination split over slavery. But, the largest, and the denomination of CT's founder, the Southern Baptist Convention, never reconciled back into the mainstream, anti-slavery Baptist movements after the Civil War.

There is little reason to think the famously trumpeted SBC apology about slavery was all that sincere, as it was justified on soon to be rejected Bible reading philosophies. Being tired and cranky... the SBC's anti-Gay activism is screaming from the rooftops proof that it's apologies for slavery and racism were cynical and manipulative. As is CT's pretense that it was always against racism...when you only have to read the old issues to know that it had little idea, or much thought, at best, about what being against racism meant.

CT, was always officially against racism, but in a very condescendingly racist way. It never met a living Civil Rights Movement leader that it liked. It especially didn't like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., even getting FBI Director Hoover to attack King in the magazine. There is that infamously ungracious obituary, and that notoriously buried announcement of King's Nobel Prize that you'll likely not find without a good index. I've read most every issue of CT ever published. It's usually been puffed up, fake humbleness, deeply pathetic, but in an interesting way.

As Malcolm X pointed out, "racism is like a Cadillac, there is a new model every year"...and this year's God's glorious, supernatural, born-again, race model is the 2008 Homosexual. At least Black people are getting a bit of a break from white evangelicals...especially the bigoted Black people. (I remember Kenneth Copeland going on ecstatically about the supernatural, born again race...then later seeing him explain to two Black men that he didn't really mean it 'like that.' His ecstatic praise of God's race may not have been classic, All American racism, but it was certainly a less than tacit call for God's supernatural, born again race privilege and hegemony.)

And another saying, this from a Christian, a Quaker, the famous, and famously Gay, LIFE magazine cover strategist of the Civil Rights movement, Bayard Rustin..."Racism isn't just about black and white."

Nobody I know cares if people are Gay. 'Gay' is just mildly interesting, and sometimes mildly awkward, like being left handed.

Conservative evangelicals want to control my religion by legally forcing us to go against our reading of the Bible on marriage, so that their despicable 'hate your Gay neighbor' "literal interpretation" readings prevail against sixty years of sociological research (of which I have a degree), real intellectual integrity sociological and psychological associations, and last but not least, Golden Rule morality and theology.

Sorry, but this ruling has nothing to do with churches. This ruling is about the law. The state (not religions) is what defines legal marriage and the state is governed by the constitution. The constitution says all Iowans are to be treated equally -- and that is exactly the principle that the court upheld.

It doesn't get any simpler than that.

As for those who are wailing about their churches: this ruling has no bearing on churches because churches have nothing to do with legal marriage. Churches are free to continue with whatever rituals and sacraments and spectacles they choose -- none of it has any legal significance so it's of no interest to the state or the courts.

Re: Gregory Peterson. "Nobody I know cares if people are Gay."
That's the kind of segregation that breeds the worst street fighting of culture wars: people surround themselves with like-minded people and lash out against faceless 'monsters' on the other side of the divide. Get friends who do care if people are gay and you'll start to see them as people, too.

For the record, a literal reading of the Bible does teach one to regard homosex as sin, but it does not teach one to hate gays. If you want to see how a literal Bible reading informs one's life, see John Perkins, who has fought against racial injustice his whole life, being a victim of it. The Bible, obeyed, leads to love and reconciliation! The problem is not literalism, but the felt need to always fight the 'other' rather than face my own sin. And we all fall into that trap one time or another, though Jesus warns against it; so we all need to repent and forgive and reconcile. And a few Evangelicals have figured this out, too - Don Miller, for one.

And as for 'separate but equal' civil unions, well, in the state of California they are equal under law. How are they not equal? Voting rights? Economic benefits? It is only the moral and religious associations with marriage that change. And that has absolutely nothing to do with the Jim Crow South - nothing.

To say that same-sex marriage will not impact all of us, is simply not true. Here are some FACTS to prove it. I am a christian father in Massachusetts. Once same-sex marriage became legal here, it directly impacted the public schools. Before same-sex marriage, as a christian dad, I had the right to know what and when my children were being taught about homosexuality and same-sex relationships. I could require notification from my children's teacher and if necessary, opt my children out of teaching I did not find acceptable. However, now the courts had taken away this right. With same-sex marriage now legalized, the courts have also determined that parents do not have the right anymore to know beforehand what is being taught to their children in the public schools regarding homosexuality or same-sex relationships. The schools now can teach material that is contrary to the parents wishes, without any prior notification to mom or dad. This is all the direct result of legalized same-sex marriage. I wish moms and dads in the rest of the country would wake up to this fact before it is too late!!!

What, outside of basic sex education class which a young person should have anyway, could a school teach about "homosexuality?" That Gays are actually human beings, who live and love, not always wisely like everyone else? That Gay people are not evil bogymen...likely no more evil and no less evil minded than anyone else, but instead, are one's friends, neighbors or relatives or even oneself?

Most kids aren't Gay, or at least, don't think they're Gay while a teenager but could discover something interesting about themselves later. Some kids know early, if not from their earliest memories that they march to the beat of a different drummer.

Some kids are busy and distracted and don't think all that much about "it," but simply vaguely think that they're just not into girls like their friends...but then one day, that guy is somehow special. "Oh, how about that, I'm not into girls because I'm Gay. Live and learn. Now I know how to be happy with someone."

Most kids likely will become happily, adequately, or unhappily heterosexual adults, at least for most of the time. Gay-straight isn't a switch, that one is one thing or the other, but a continuum of sexual attractions and orientations. We're a social species, all males have a female "X" chromosome after all, and that's just to be expected.

As young people, they don't need to pick a side...yet. Those in the middle of the sexual continuum can be Gay one day, and straight the next if they wish, but as for a companion in life, they'll have to make a decision that may be difficult to keep down the road.

But, while most kids won't identify as "Gay," most kids will know someone Gay, at least someday. After all, five to ten percent of the population is likely mostly same-sex relationship oriented, and if not Gay identifying, nevertheless sometimes MSM anyway. (MSM, men who have sex with men. Think Ted Haggard.).

It would be nice, if not a good public service, if my kids could give accurate advice and good council to their Gay friends and acquaintances, right? And vice versa, of course.

Love and relationships can cloud the best of minds and obscure good intentions, after all, Gay or not. We all could sometimes need some good advice and council, not dubiously moral exhortations, such as that nasty, deeply unprincipled and blatantly immoral "ex-gay" stuff.

People can change, we're a flexible species, but individuals are usually not as flexible as the species as a whole over time. I can't just become taller because I want to, at least without radical medical intervention that would be very ill advised for someone of average height. People in general, however, can become taller, on average, over several generations with certain environmental conditions last long enough...and smaller if that environment changes long enough.

There is principled change for sound reasons, like becoming an ex-thief, and then there is unprincipled change, like demanding that all Gay people should become ex-gays. Gay people can, have, do and will make enormous contributions to society, or more likely...everyday average people contributions to society...but less likely to do so if oppressed and constantly anomic bombed by greedy, superior feeling, self righteous, gender-xenophobic, small minded, hysterical, ignorant and/or ill minded people.

Schools and parents and everyone, for that matter, need to teach young people not only what they personally need to know about love and relationships, straight or Gay, but what their friends, Gay or not, also need to know. What are you teaching your children about their friends, neighbors and maybe, themselves?

We're a very flexible, as a whole, very sociable, very intelligent species. Social species are not all about maximum reproduction by every individual, but the individual within a group, together raising of enough healthy young pups for another day under the Sun.

Not only about raising the young, but also to preserve a diverse enough adult population for the young to grow up properly socialized and to have adequate genetic diversity.

Gay men might be less likely to reproduce, but they can, do and will...just not always Gay children. As with everyone else, at this time anyway, it's pretty much the luck of the draw.

Even when we don't pass on our genes to another generation, and many individuals in many a social species seldom even get the chance to have much sex, us humans pass on our memes, our accomplishments, our knowledge, wisdom, experiences, the best of us, to another generation...and the worse of us as well, when we don't radically practice the Golden Rule as best we can.

Public schools shouldn't really be teaching "homosexuality" anyway, except maybe as social history, as that's an obsolete theory mostly misused today by people who are downright bigoted at worse, or not keeping current with the sciences and the Gay community at best.

Thanks for the post Sarah. Leave it to Vermont and Iowa to be the most progressive states in the nation, shame on us here in California for passing Prop 9. Whether you call it Gay Marriage or Civil Union, the basic premise is that every person should have equal rights. It’s good to see that some states are progressing, I made a list on my site of the states I think will legalize Gay Marriage first: http://www.toptentopten.com/topten/first+states+that+will+legalize+gay+marriage

This is no big deal and has nothing to do with Christianity.

To their dismay, a bunch of people are going to realize that they're not married because they chose to go to the court house.

Everyone can get married. Everyone can have a civil union. Everyone can do both.

What problem has any lesbian or gay person caused you directly? Do you have any concept of the numbers of straight people (men and women, "husbands and wives") who are living the lie?

Every gay knows how to stay away from you and, quite frankly, you out number us.

i'm female, heterosexual and was just married. marriage is a like a big practical joke. they never told me what it would REALLY be like. good luck!