Nice job, neighbor.
From the Seattle PI:
Iowa’s Supreme Court legalized gay marriage Friday in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state – and the first in the nation’s heartland – to allow same-sex couples to wed.
“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 Supreme Court wrote in its decision. “The Legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification.”
A few points of my own.
Gay marriage is more like racial integration than it is like abortion in that history seems to be settling the issue.
For decades, opinion on gay equality has been steadily moving towards acceptance. 68% opposed gay marriages in 1998; that came down to around 56% in 2006. This trend is especially pronounced in the young and educated. If you were born after 1975, chances are you support gay marriage, and most college graduates support gay marriage.
Of course public opinion doesn’t determine morality, and we’d do well to remember that 1991 was the first time that a majority of adults approved of interracial marriage. And the weight being placed on approval seems wrong in this instance; when was the last time we took a poll asking how many Americans approved of, say, trial lawyers? Or owning pet birds? Or being from Scarsdale, NY? My point is that there are actions that people can disapprove of and then there are actions that people can prohibit. Those sets are not identical. And while people can disapprove of whatever they want, the bar for prohibiting actions is much higher. You need a good reason for withholding a right from one small group of people, and good reason is something the anti-gay marriage crowd is sorely lacking.
We have constitutions for a couple reasons. One of the big ones is to make sure that the majority doesn’t unfairly impose their will on an unpopular minority. And the Court’s job — which it did today — is to apply the constitution, and thereby ensuring liberty and justice for all.