Today’s Iowa Supreme Court Decision to strike down Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act comes with consequences for the other 47 states and potentially for those who dissent.  The Iowa Christian Alliance in a statement today said the following:

The court in a unanimous decision held that Iowa’s Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA), Code Section 595.2 is stricken and "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."

What this means for Iowa and perhaps for the forty-seven other
states in the country that currently do not recognize same-sex marriage is, to say the least, a monumental mess. Because Iowa’s statutes pertaining to marriage do not restrict that privilege to Iowa residents, gay couples from any state may come to Iowa, get married, return to their state and demand recognition under the Full Faith and Credit (Article IV, Sec. 1) provision of the U.S. Constitution. "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state."

Although the Iowa decision does not require that religious institutions perform gay marriages or that persons engaged in providing services to wedding couples (i.e., photographers, wedding planners, etc.) under Iowa’s Civil Rights protection statutes, the issue may become a cause for action. Homosexuals will demand that gay marriage be discussed and endorsed in all curricula where marriage and family is taught. Lawsuits costing defendants thousands of dollars have proceeded in Massachusetts and Canada when citizens who, for personal reasons, objected to their children in elementary grades being taught that gay marriage was as wholesome as traditional heterosexual marriage. It is an established fact that the Iowa Civil Rights Commission is dominated by persons who are active in the gay rights movement. We will have more on this in subsequent releases.

A monumental mess is putting it lightly.  The Iowa General Assembly must THIS session pass a law requiring one of the parties to have an established residence in Iowa.  That just makes sense.  Don’t turn Iowa into the Las Vegas of gay marriage like what Senator Matt McCoy would like to do.

Update 4/9/09: Linked by Christianity Lived Out.

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  1. God save us from this DISHONORABLE COURT and it's attempts to normalize immorality. Another example of Judicial Tyranny. Throw off the yoke, Iowans!

  2. This is also a reminder that we need to be salt and light in the community and lead people to Jesus so that hearts can be changed.

    That's the ultimate solution.

  3. Why should Iowa suddenly amend it's law to forbid marriage of out of state couples? Was it OK before the court overturned the recent law? This is like cutting one's nose of to spite one's face.

    Besides, Massachusetts is a better vacation spot for out-of-staters to marry.

  4. It's not being forced on other states. Other states have laws that specify what they'll accept as marriage.

  5. So what? Iowa is still not *forcing* the law onto other states. And the other states aren't being *forced* to accept anything. That issue is what other states' courts, legislatures and executive branches will ultimately decide — Not Iowa.

    The basic drive behind your argument is if enough states accept same-sex marriage, other states may come to agree. It may be true, but that's no good reason to suddenly alter residency requirements.

    Note that the last time these laws were enforced (prior to Massachusetts recent, short term flirtation with their enforcement) was to restrict racially-mixed marriages.

  6. Actually I approve of the court's ruling. It wasn't that long ago that it was illegal for blacks to marry whites in many states in this country. The same arguments were used back then to defend these laws. The court is not attempting to “normalize immorality”, it is attempting to allow all groups to be treated equally under the law. After a long struggle people in this country can now marry members of a different race than they are and now, after another long struggle, they can now marry members of the same gender.

    Its all good…

  7. I understand your reasoning, but my issue and I think if you talked to say, the majority of African-Americans, they would say the Civil Rights argument is disingenuous. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Civil Rights (with the exception of religion) historically is based on physical characteristics – things you can't change. Homosexuality is a behavior and choice. There is no evidence to suggest otherwise.

    Since it is a behavior and personal choice – soon you'll have to look at polygamy, incestuous relationships (consenting adults), etc. If you don't think that's the case, look at Canada –… and….

  8. I don't think it is the place of the government of this country to become involved in the interpersonal relationships of consenting adults. I have some very dear friends who are in a relationship that consists of two women and one man. Their relationship is very loving and they bring a lot of joy into each others' lives as well as those around them (such as me). I also have friends who are in homosexual relationships who share and spread love. To me love is love, I am not concerned about the form which it takes.

    I would agree with you that there are “toxic” relationships but I think that they exist among all types, whether they be straight, gay, polyamorous, or polygamous. I think that such toxic relationships are harmful regardless of type. However, I also think that love is love regardless of the form it takes and don't think that it is the government's place to intrude. Moral values differ in many ways from society to society, as well as from religion to religion; one need only make comparisons between Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Paganism. The idea of our representative republic is to allow all sorts of peoples and beliefs come together and live in peace with a minimum of interference. I applaud the decision in Iowa because it allows just this sort of freedom.

  9. Changing the definition of marriage goes beyond the “interpersonal relationships of consenting adults.” It impacts society, and that is why people are upset. If it were that simple people wouldn't be up in arms about it.

  10. No one is changing any definitions at all… each religion, each culture is allowed to set its own definition of marriage. No one is asking Christians to change their beliefs, Buddhists to change their beliefs, Jews to change their beliefs, or anyone else to change theirs… In fact, our society attempts to maximize freedom by allowing freedom of speech , freedom of religion, and many other freedoms.

    Quite frankly it makes me a bit uncomfortable governments, both state and federal, to become involved in recognizing marriages at all since such ceremonies do differ greatly from religion to religion and from culture to culture. However, American society has chosen to make marriage a civil bond rather than a spiritual bond. As a result I need to have no religious or spiritual path to get married in American society. I need do no more than go to the nearest courthouse and register that I wish to be considered married to someone of the opposite gender and I am considered married. As a result, this institution, as recognized by American society, does not recognize any particular religious or cultural definition of marriage. In fact, my spouse and I may make whatever we wish of our marriage. We may even end it, if we choose to do so, even though most cultures and religions believe that a marriage should be for life.

    What I, and many others, object to is that the government places a gender restriction on this institution and does not extend to those who are in a same-gender relationship the same legal benefits and protections. As I pointed out previously… there were, and still are in some places, those who don't believe that interracial marriages should be recognized, there are those who don't believe that interfaith marriages should be recognized, and there are those who don't think same-gender marriages should be recognized. However, I, and others, believe that the government should not get involved in such issues and should either not recognize and grand protections and benefits to any marriages, or should grand the same benefits and protections to *all* marriages.

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