Friday, April 10, 2009

Blog Against Theocracy Blogswarm

I'm sure you are all aware by now that The Supreme Court of the Great State of Iowa, my state, overturned the ban on marriage between two consenting adults who just so happen to be not heterosexual. A great day! My gay friends and family can now enjoy the same benefits of marriage that I enjoy, all men being created equal and all that(counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed and Three Fifths of all other Gay Persons!)

Iowa still has its share of The American Taliban,though. And that's what the Blogswarm Against Theocracy is all about. Come Mistah Talibahn, TaliBahn's bananas...

“We don’t have to apologize to anybody for this,” he added. “They are the ones who are offending our civilization and our culture. … The state is interested in marriage. We want to promote marriage. We want to do so because of the things I said — because we pour the values of our society through that marriage, and we encourage the birth of children to [be] brought up in that holy union and that sacrament of marriage.

The Iowa Supreme court ruled unanimously with logic so simple even a child could understand,
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 legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification. There is no material fact, genuinely in dispute, that can affect this determination.

We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law. Faithfulness to that duty requires us to hold Iowa’s marriage statute, Iowa Code section 595.2, violates the Iowa Constitution. To decide otherwise would be an abdication of our constitutional duty. If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded. Iowa Code section 595.2 denies gay and lesbian people the equal protection of the law promised by the Iowa Constitution

but the Theocrats do not respond with the logic. They respond with political fearmongering. The argument that marriage should only be between a man and a woman because of the ability to bear children is a bogus argument. Are you going to start forcing husband and wife to bear children? What are you, a fucking Communist!? Meanwhile, more from the summary...

Having addressed and rejected each specific interest articulated by the County, the court addressed one final ground believed to underlie the same-sex marriage debate—religious opposition.

Recognizing the sincere religious belief held by some that the “sanctity of marriage” would be undermined by the inclusion of gay and lesbian couples, the court nevertheless noted that such views are not the only religious views of marriage. Other, equally sincere groups have espoused strong religious views yielding the opposite conclusion. These contrasting opinions, the court finds, explain the absence of any religious-based rationale to test the constitutionality of Iowa’s same-sex marriage statute.

“Our constitution does not permit any branch of government to resolve these types of religious debates and entrusts to courts the task of ensuring government avoids them . . . . The statute at issue in this case does not prescribe a definition of marriage for religious institutions. Instead, the statute, declares, ‘Marriage is a civil contract’ and then regulates that civil contract . . . .

Thus, in pursuing our task in this case, we proceed as civil judges, far removed from the theological debate of religious clerics, and focus only on the concept of civil marriage and the state licensing system that identifies a limited class of persons entitled to secular rights and benefits associated with marriage.” [emphasis in original]

If you want to prevent Gay People from marrying in your church, by all means, prevent Gay people from marrying in your church, I don't care! The Gay people who don't go to your church probably don't care either. But if the Government is in the business of issuing licenses for 2 consenting adults to enter into a civil contract, or marriage, then the Government cannot deny the license based on whether or not a person is gay without violating people's civil rights. It is pretty simple and straightforward.

Creating a separate class by establishing "marriage" for heterosexuals and "civil unions" for homosexuals will not do. Either the Government gets out of the business of issuing "marriage" licenses altogether and issues strictly "civil union" licenses to Gays and Not Gays alike, leaving the semantic name game "Marriage" to the churches, or they have to start issuing "marriage" licenses to Gay Couples.

Tip o' the pie plate to 2 Political Junkies


Comrade Physioprof said...

Dude! I got my ShakyFoot hoodie!!!! I am gonna have PhysioWife take my picture in it and I'll post it at my place.

zencomix said...

Thanks, man!

two crows said...

well said!

it's about time states started acting rationally.
all the hoopla the far right wingnuts put out about gays wanting 'special rights' while denying them the rights THEY enjoy is despicable.

Comrade Physioprof said...

Back on topic: Yeah, I posted about this a while back. Here is what I wrote:

These recently passed propositions that deny marriage equality as a civil right are based solely in religiously motivated hatred, plain and simple. The solution to all of this is to get the state out of the “marriage” business completely, and give absolutely no legal weight whatsoever to religious mumbo-jumbo ceremonies.

In this legal regime, any two people who desire the traditional legal appurtenances of “marriage” need to go to City Hall (or whatever registry office) and execute a legal document that creates the legal relationship. And we can make up a cool-sounding legalistic name for it. I propose humpterdy: “YAY! We just got humptered! Let’s partay!!!”

This way, religious fuckwits can keep their “marriage” to themselves–just as they do “baptism”, “bar mitzvah”, etc–and the state can continue furthering its legitimate interest in encouraging the formation of families headed by two people, but without entangling the apparatus of the state in wackaloon religious fuckwittery.

Coffee Messiah said...

Let's hope it occurs during our lifetime ; )


Brady Bonk said...

As you noted, the thing to really respect about the Iowa decision was its simplicity. "It's unconstitutional, dude," said the decision. "It just is."

There really is no further explanation required.

Thorne said...

Wow. Thanks for that. The language is so simple and eloquent. Now if the California Supreme Court would only follow suit.

C Woods said...

Well said.

I agree with Comrade Physioprof. I understand in many countries, France and Brazil for example, all "legal" marriages are really civil unions, a contract so to speak. If a couple wants to marry in a church, that is their choice. Many people do both, but only the civil union is "legal" and carries certain legal and economic rights. It seems to me, that would be a simple solution to the problem. Every consenting couple of any sexual orientation would be free to have a legal civil union. If they wanted to have a "marriage" too, then a church could perform the ceremony, but it would hold no legal, only religious, status. A third option would be to marry only in a church ---which would hold no legal status. But of course, that makes too much sense for the religious zealots. They'd complain all the people who chose NOT to marry in a church were living in sin ---and that would destroy their antiquated and tightly held concept of marriage.