I'm just so utterly pleased with how strong yet simple their stance was, really impressed. As in - FINALLY A COURT SAW THROUGH THE RELIGIOUS BS AND GOT IT RIGHT.
Iowa lawmakers have "excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification," the justices wrote.
To issue any other decision, the seven justices said, "would be an abdication of our constitutional duty."
From Matt Cole's article on the Huffington Post I quote:
What sets the Iowa opinion apart is a passage near the end. After dealing with the arguments the state offered to justify the exclusion of same-sex couples, the Iowa Supreme Court addresses head-on what it says is the "unspoken" reason many support the exclusion: religious opposition.
The Court says that while many oppose marriage for religious reasons, religion cannot justify a law excluding gay people from marriage. "State government can have no religious views," the opinion says, "either directly or indirectly expressed through its legislation." "This proposition," the Court goes on to say, "is the essence of the separation of church and state."
That proposition ought to be obvious, but in the last 25 years, it seems almost to have disappeared from civic discourse in America. It took guts for the Iowa court to say what virtually no other government official has been willing to admit. By bluntly pointing out that religion has driven much of the debate, and reminding other courts and legislatures of their obligation not to enshrine religion in law, the Court gave a deeply practical rationale for insisting that marriage exclusions either be based on rigorous logic and evidence or be struck down. And it is that down-to-earth honesty that will, I believe, make this a deeply influential opinion.
And then today! Yippee, we followed Iowa with Vermont! Vermont is the first state to have the legislature legalize gay marriage vs. the judicial process. What a day! Perhaps (do I dare hope) soon we'll see a similar ruling in California? Three days in a row of good news would be most welcome!
And in other news - this amusing article: Rick Warren Lies About Prop 8 to Larry King