Gay marriage legalized in Iowa

Last Friday, April 3, was a historic day for Iowans. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that Iowa’s same-sex marriage ban violates constitutional rights. “In this case, we must decide if our state statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the Iowa Constitution, as the district court ruled. On our review, we hold the Iowa marriage statute violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution. Therefore, we affirm the decision of the district court,” the court wrote in summary. The decision is seen as especially important since Iowa is a moderate state located in the Heartland. The two other states that allow gay marriage are Connecticut and Massachusetts, both seen as states with very liberal views. Many gay rights activists were disheartened last November by California’s passage of Proposition 8, which stopped allowing gay marriage in California. Luckily for gay rights activists, Iowa’s process for amending the State Constitution is much more difficult than the process in California. To put gay marriage up for a vote would first require the approval of the legislature in consecutive sessions, ultimately not allowing a public vote until 2012. As of now, many speculate that Iowans would vote to not allow gay marriage. But after three years of realizing that society has not been negatively altered, Iowans may warm up to the idea. Until that vote happens, if it does, Iowans will be able to enjoy living in a state that provides truly equal protection under law.