Gay Marriage Starts Today in Iowa

Following the Iowa Supreme Court's decision earlier this month in Varnum v. Brien, today is the first day that gay couples may officially apply for a marriage license in the Hawkeye State. The Des Moines Register reports that the first such license went to Melisa Keeton and Shelley Wolfe. In a recent column, I maintained that the Iowa Supreme Court got it partially right. Senior Editor Jacob Sullum argues that the Iowa court got it wrong.

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  • ||

    I guess its ladies first.

  • ||

    For gay marriage.

    Against courts mandating it's recognition by the state. That's for the political process to resolve. It will take decades to do it right.

    Did your congresscritters vote for DOMA?
    Do you even know?

  • Anonymous||

    In March of 1857, the United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, declared that all blacks -- slaves as well as free -- were not and could never become citizens of the United States. The court also declared the 1820 Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, thus permiting slavery in all of the country's territories.

    Good company.

  • Free tip||

    Less ambiguously, "Same-Sex Marriage Starts Today in Iowa".

  • ||

    Will undocumented workers start crossing the border with the sole intention of marrying in Iowa?

    Will the federal government do nothing?

    Surely someone out there asked the Iowan governor about this and posted his answer to youtube!

  • ||

    In March of 1857, the United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, declared that all blacks -- slaves as well as free -- were not and could never become citizens of the United States.

    Does that mean Obama is not really our president?

    But, seriously, what the hell was Taney's reasoning?

  • High Every Body||

    I guess its ladies first.

    Yea baby!

  • kinnath||

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090427/NEWS/90427003

    Melisa Keeton and Shelley Wolfe were the first same-sex couple with a license in hand at the Polk County administration building, and Judge Karen Romano granted the Des Moines couple a waiver to the standard three-day waiting period.

    Wolfe and Keeton exchanged vows outside the Polk County administration building shortly before 10 a.m., surrounded by friends, relatives and news crews.

  • iowafails||

    It's very sad to see how a state like Iowa could become so corrupt to recognize sodomy as something normal!

  • ||

    Judge Karen Romano granted the Des Moines couple a waiver to the standard three-day waiting period.

    Already with the special treatment, I see.

    /end mock disapproval

    It's very sad to see how a state like Iowa could become so corrupt swinging to recognize sodomy as something normal!

  • Amy||

    Congratulations, Melisa Keeton and Shelley Wolfe, and hooray for Iowa! I'm from California, and am deeply ashamed of my state for passing Prop 8. I'm glad to see that Iowa's on the right track.

  • High Every Body||

    Exactly how is expanding government control of individuals is a positive how?

    I hope the giddy happy talk continues when they finally stop recognizing any marriage for anything.

  • short, fat bastard||

    It's very sad to see how a state like Iowa could become so corrupt to recognize sodomy as something normal!

    I gots loads o' documentary films at home showing heterosexuals engaging in sodomy. So I guess it's far more normal that you give it credit for.

  • kinnath||

    Already with the special treatment, I see.

    Any couple, straigh or gay, can get the 3-day waiting period waived by a judge.

    Not to step on your joke or anything, but some of the less bright folks this thread is going to draw in may not get that on there own.

  • High Every Body||

    kinnath,

    Pat already left before getting to this thread.

  • High Every Body||

    Gay Fascism

    Somebody had to design those uniforms.

  • Mike in PA||

    It seems to me that this whole debate would go away if not for the "special" privileges that the government gives to "married" people.

    If we treated everyone as equal regardless of their marital status, it wouldn't matter what you call their "union." Neither would it matter what you call a traditional marriage. Then, marriage would only be whatever your specific religion said it is.

    Problem solved.

  • Anonymous||

    It seems to me that this whole debate would go away if not for the "special" privileges that the government gives to "married" people.

    Just wait until unisex bathrooms are mandated.

  • Triumph||

    Amy!

    I checked out your blog site:

    amycools.blogspot.com

    It covers so many topics so intellegently. It's AMAIZING! How do you doi it? How are you able to research such a diverse mix of subjects? It is by far the best political blog I have ever seen. EVER! For me to poop on.

  • iowafails||

    Recognizing sodomy via same sex marriage doesn't make it normal. Iowa giving marriage protection under who have not other way but to engage in stuff like you say you have in your basement "short, fat bastard" is just as pathetic, sick and perverted. It will be interesting to see how fast the state of Iowa will realize higher crime rates, more murders, more earth quakes, floods and calamities because other perversions that will more than likely come upon it's society. Maybe Iowa will be the first state in the union to be hit with a nuke?

  • ||

    Jacob Sullum has it right on this: whatever your opinion of same-sex marriage, it's extremely dangerous for courts to suddenly "discover" this "constitutional right" that somehow lurked unseen for generations in the words "equal protection." Libertarians will regret the day when judges learned they could declare "equal protection" to mean anything they wanted.

    Here are some more for the Living Constitution types to work on: it's unconstitutional for people to have unequal legal representation in court, to have unequal access to health care, to get paid differently than anyone else with the same job, or to get unequal Social Security or unemployment benefits. Sure they seem like silly ideas, but same-sex marriage was little more than a punch line a few decades ago. Now, in the blink of an historical eye, anyone who doesn't believe in it is a troglodyte bigot.

  • kinnath||

    It will be interesting to see how fast the state of Iowa will realize higher crime rates, more murders, more earth quakes, floods and calamities because other perversions that will more than likely come upon it's society.

    We had a tornado touch down about 10 miles from my house yesterday. Perhaps god was making a preemptive strike.

  • kinnath||

    Jacob Sullum has it right on this: whatever your opinion of same-sex marriage, it's extremely dangerous for courts to suddenly "discover" this "constitutional right" that somehow lurked unseen for generations in the words "equal protection."

    The social conservatives saw this coming 10 years ago when they passed our version of DOMA. The only thing they accomplished was to delay the outcome by a decade.

  • short, fat bastard||

    I'd pay good money to see "iowafails" sqeal like a pig.

  • armada||

    Is iowafails attempting to make a serious argument?

  • kinnath||

    Here are some more for the Living Constitution types to work on: it's unconstitutional for people to have unequal legal representation in court, to have unequal access to health care, to get paid differently than anyone else with the same job, or to get unequal Social Security or unemployment benefits.

    The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a law passed only 10 years ago was unconstitional because it prohibited state recognition of marriages between same-sex couples which are similarly situated to straight couples while showing no compelling government interest that it was necessary to descriminate against those same-sex couples.

    If the legislature was to pass a new law that "compelled" unequal medical treatment of similarly situated people, then it too would be unconstitional.

    But he constitition does not mean that all people will have equal outcomes under a free market economy. So your examples above are not relevant. Try again.

  • Your Favorite Queer||

    "It will be interesting to see how fast the state of Iowa will realize higher crime rates, more murders, more earth quakes, floods and calamities because other perversions that will more than likely come upon it's society. Maybe Iowa will be the first state in the union to be hit with a nuke?"

    Yes. Because until today, not one of Iowa's queers were fucking. Not one!

    Kiss kiss!
    YFQ

  • ||

    The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a law passed only 10 years ago was unconstitional

    The logic and effect of their ruling was much broader than that. I quote:

    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.

    IOW, they didn't just strike the DOMA. They also ordered that the long-standing Iowa marriage statute be interpreted to allow gay marriage. While not as egregious as the rewriting of California statutes by the California court, it arguably amounts to an amendment of the existing statute, and is beyond the court's authority, because other provisions of the Iowa statute make it clear that marriage was intended to be between a man and a woman.

    A longer and well-argued version of my position on this is here.

    Marriage, you see, is not the creation of positive law, but a fact about human society; one that is only recognized by governments, and more importantly, one that states, either under their own constitutions or under the fourteenth amendment to the federal constitution, must recognize.

    But the question arises, what marriage must be recognized? There are two plausible answers to that question: the first answer, which is undoubtably less problematic to adjudicate, is that whatever arrangements met the publicly shared and understood definition of marriage implied in the constitutional provision at the time of ratification must be recognized unless their prohibition can pass strict scrutiny; the second answer, which I think is more likely correct, is that whatever arrangements are marriages, as a matter of current worldly fact, by the shared definition under which society operates, must be recognized unless their prohibition can pass strict scrutiny.

  • ||

    This is how marriage dies.

    To thunderous applause.

  • kinnath||

    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 as I posted previously, once you strike DOMA, there is no other way to interpret the prior baseline of law. So the opponents of gay marriage actually made the case for gay marriage stronger by enacting a plainly unconstitional law.

  • iowafails||

    So just because bombs aren't falling today means that engaging in sodomy is okay huh? Remember, the history of the world where other cities, civilizations and people weren't destroyed all within a day! Interesting justification! Let's fuck until we see the bombs falling? What the difference is here is we've entered a new era. Now the people via Iowa legislators are saying something bad is now good. Isn't it interesting how today many good things are now thought of as being bad. How does society get to be so corrupt that bad things become good and good things become bad?

  • kinnath||

    Setting the law aside and just looking at the politcal gamesmanship . . .

    If the existing body of law prior to DOMA in the late 90's was clearly and unambigously written to prohibit gay marriage, then DOMA would not have been necessary. The proper strategy would be to defend the existing body of law against "equal protection" challenges using all the arguments that people always make -- for example, that the general population "knew" they were banning gay marriage when the constition was addopted a 150 years ago and when the marriage statues were written.

    However, if the law was not quite so clear and not quite so unambiguous, the DOMA was necessary to clean things up. However, DOMA was plainly unconstitional. And the demise of DOMA also forced the court to state clearly and unambigously that the prior body of law MUST BE INTERPRETED to allow gay marriage.

    The passage of DOMA, in all likelyhood, actually increased the probability that gay marriage would be mandated by the courts in Iowa.

    Someone called a really dumb play in the huddle back in the 90's.

  • Bluto||

    "So the opponents of gay marriage actually made the case for gay marriage stronger by enacting a plainly unconstitional law."

    The Lord works in mysterious ways.

  • Bluto||

    "Now the people via Iowa legislators are saying something bad is now good."

    Kinda liked what happened with tomatoes.

  • VM||

    cool and many happy years to the loving couples.

  • High Every Body||

    kinnath,

    DAMN YOU!

    I went to the URL that you gave, hoping that this might be the first attractive lesbian couple in the wild to get married. But nooooooo they have to be those giant, real world lesbians. Nothing like pr0n lesbians.

    Those two look like they just came from the WTO protest.

  • kinnath||

    But nooooooo they have to be those giant, real world lesbians.

    Good-old Iowa Corn Fed livestock.

  • ||

    And as I posted previously, once you strike DOMA, there is no other way to interpret the prior baseline of law.

    I think you're wrong kinnath. Some state statutes (like California) are quite explicit aside from their DOMA clauses that marriage is between a man and a woman. Others, like Iowa, are less explicit, but read as a whole it is pretty clear.

    Check the link, as well. When it comes to matters of interpretation such as this, history matters. Until very recently, the notion that marriage could mean anything other than a man and a woman didn't even exist, and asserting now that it has always meant "two adults" rather than "a man and a woman" is nonsensical.

    The real issue here is whether the underlying social consensus out of which marriage arises has changed, and if so, has it changed so completely that we have an equal protection issue on our hands.

    What people who analogize all this to the civil rights movement forget is that the anti-miscegenation laws were an exception to the underlying social consensus, not an example of it.

    If the existing body of law prior to DOMA in the late 90's was clearly and unambigously written to prohibit gay marriage, then DOMA would not have been necessary.

    In many states, it was. California law is riddled with references to "man" and "woman." What you overlook is that (a) much of the drive for DOMA was to prevent forced recognition of gay marriages performed in another state and (b) the fact that until very recently gay marriage was so literally unthinkable that no statutory language addressing the issue was necessary.

  • ||

    90 years ago: Americans are assured that the new income tax will only apply to the rich, and that the average working man will never have to pay it.

    45 years ago: Americans are assured that the Civil Rights Act will never mean racial quotas.

    2009: Kinnath assures us that the Iowa Supreme Court is interpreting the term "equal protection" in a very narrow and specific way, and that it won't ever be used as a precedent for further leftist judicial activism.

    Well, that's a relief!

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