Iowa lets people get married

Iowa lets people get married

Iowa lets people get married

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
April 3 2009 1:00 PM

Iowa lets people get married

Wow, I get wrapped up in my own personal world for a coupla days, and find out I almost missed this: the Iowa Supreme Court said that banning gay people from getting married is unconstitutional.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Iowa?

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Awesome.

And perfectly correct. I'd add "of course", but some folks don't get it. But it really is simple. We have two choices, legally: allow any consenting adults to be legally married, or allow none. This is because there's a difference between being married legally -- in the eyes of the law -- and being married religiously. If your established religion hates teh ghey, then (besides that being your loss) don't allow them to marry within that religion. But the State has no legal right to tell people to be married or not. So if it allows consenting oppositely-polarized heterosexual couples to be married and exact benefits from it, then they cannot consistently bar any two consenting adults, heterosexual or otherwise.

When we make laws barring one kind of marriage or another, we're pussyfooting around the actual problem: some people are ooked out by gays. If that's you, well, then, that's you. You are what you are (though you can also strive to be more). But just because you're personally uncomfortable with it, doesn't mean a) it's wrong, and/or b) it should be illegal. I think "reality shows" are an abomination upon our society, but I don't think they should be illegal, and I'll pit my abhorrence for them against anyone else's homophobia any day. At least mine is based on critical thinking.

Of course, not everyone sees it this way. My irony gland nearly detonated upon reading this:

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"It's, quite frankly, a disaster," said Brian English, a spokesman for the Iowa Family Policy Center, a nonprofit research and educational organization committed to strengthening the family.

It's ironic, you see, because he's not really committed to strengthening the family. He's committed to weakening other families (and you can see this for yourself by going to their website). And we know those gay couples really are families. Here's why:

Dawn BarbouRoske told the group, "We're proud that our kids will be able to grow up knowing their family is respected."

Her daughter added: "Hi, I'm McKinley, and I'm really, really happy. I feel that my family has always had this right, and today it is true. No longer shall we be just people who aren't allowed to be married. We are able to get married."

She has a daughter? Hey, so do I! And I know I have a family, so hers sounds like a family to me, too.

I can't believe I have to point stuff out like this sometimes, but the very existence of that "Family Policy" group shows that it needs to be pointed out.

I congratulate the canny and wise decision of the Iowa court, and tell the folks who live in the Hawkeye state to in fact keep their eyes open: there is already talk of trying to push through an amendment to make gay marriage illegal, since that's voted upon by the people. So Iowans, perhaps the choice will be up to you. Will you think critically and do the right thing, or will you let your hearts and minds be closed on this issue?