Friday, April 03, 2009

Iowa stunner - gay marriage legalized

How about that. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled today that a prohibition on gay marriage is unconstitutional, violating the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution. That's a BIG deal, especially for it to happen in a state in the middle of the country like Iowa.

I haven't had a chance to read the opinion yet, but I am going to be fascinated to see how this plays out on the national political scene. States like Massachusetts that have made similar rulings were easier for social conservatives to marginalize as "east coast liberals." I'm not sure how that's going to work with a heartland state like Iowa.

There's no question this is the cutting-edge social and civil rights question of our generation. When a state like California can pass Proposition 8 banning gay marriage, and less than six months later Iowa's Supreme Court can find such a ban unconstitution - by a unanimous vote, nonetheless - then you know the issue is up for grabs.

It is pretty amazing to me, as a Nebraskan, to think that the state next door is now in the forefront of such a huge social battle. It's going to be fascinating to see what comes next.

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