I'm waiting for the Iowa Supreme Court to issue its ruling. The ruling was to be announced on its website at 8:30AM CST, however, high traffic crashed the server. Or something or other. I literally have not slept a wink - mostly because I have nothing else to do today - and because I'm just anxious and hoping the first state outside of New England to grant voting rights to African-Americans will be at the forefront of equality outside of New England once more.
...And, unanimously, it's in favor of equality! I'm thrilled. I am immensely proud.
Des Moines, April 3, 2009— In a unanimous decision, the Iowa Supreme Court
today held that the Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man
and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.
The decision strikes the language from Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil
marriage to a man and a woman. It further directs that the remaining statutory
language be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian
people full access to the institution of civil marriage.
Today’s ruling resolves an action brought by six same-sex couples who were
refused marriage licenses by the Polk County Recorder. Except for the statutory
restriction that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, the
twelve plaintiffs met the legal requirements to marry in Iowa.
On August 30, 2007, the Polk County District Court issued a ruling determining
the statute was unconstitutional under the due process and equal protection
clauses of the Iowa Constitution. The district court initially ordered the county
recorder to begin processing marriage licenses for same-sex couples, but stayed
the order during the pendency of an appeal by the County.
Upon appeal to the supreme court, the parties and numerous amici curiae filed
extensive briefs. The supreme court heard oral argument on December 9, 2008,
and today issued its decision affirming the district court ruling. The court’s
decision becomes effective upon issuance of procedendo, which normally occurs
twenty-one days after the opinion is filed, unless a petition for rehearing is filed.
The entire opinion is available online at www.iowacourts.gov/supreme_court
The Iowa Supreme Court has the responsibility to determine if a law enacted by
the legislative branch and enforced by the executive branch violates the Iowa
Constitution. The court reaffirmed that a statute inconsistent with the Iowa
Constitution must be declared void, even though it may be supported by strong
and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion.
Update: WOW! Rec list! Sweet - glad to see enthusiasm about this. In case you're wondering, I wrote up this little summary of the prospects of a constitutional ban.
Before the opinion was made public, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs), a supporter of same-sex marriage (and from my hometown), said "It's unlikely that will happen." in response to a question about a possible constitutional amendment. Democrats also hold a 32-18 seat advantage in the Iowa State Senate.
Of course, writing is not a skill I possess.