Saturday, April 4, 2009

Elated

YAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOO! The Iowa Supreme Court's decision was unanimous in favor of marriage equality!

I just can't articulate how excited I am about this decision. I almost hyperventilated when I got the news at work yesterday. Unanimous! Iowa! Marriage equality right here in the hear to the Midwest!

An excerpt from the decision released by the court yesterday:
Iowa Code section 595.2 is unconstitutional because the County has been unable to identify a constitutionally adequate justification for excluding plaintiffs from the institution of civil marriage... Consequently, the language in Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman must be stricken from the statute, and the remaining statutory language must be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage.
And check out these four succinct, powerful words that conclude the decision:
AFFIRMED.
All justices concur.
Wow. A unanimous ruling. This was no fluke.

I should have had more faith in Iowa. It has a storied history of recognizing and repairing social wrongs long before the Federal government does. Consider this joint statement released yesterday by the Iowa Senate majority leader and speaker of the Iowa House:
In 1839, the Iowa Supreme Court rejected slavery in a decision that found that a slave named Ralph became free when he stepped on Iowa soil, 26 years before the end of the Civil War decided the issue.

In 1868, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that racially segregated “separate but equal” schools had no place in Iowa, 85 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.

In 1873, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against racial discrimination in public accommodations, 91 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.

In 1869, Iowa became the first state in the union to admit women to the practice of law.

In the case of recognizing loving relationships between two adults, the Iowa Supreme Court is once again taking a leadership position on civil rights.

Today, we congratulate the thousands of Iowans who now can express their love for each other and have it recognized by our laws.
Gay and lesbian couples will be permitted to marry in Iowa in just three short weeks. Three weeks! As the state has no residency requirement to marry, that means my husband and I--who live right next door in Illinois--will be welcome to go and receive legal recognition of our marriage. We're so excited!

We're eloping to Iowa!

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