Iowa Supreme Court ruling polarizes

On April 3, the state of Iowa was launched into the middle of an ongoing national controversy. With its unanimous Supreme Court ruling, Iowa became only the third state, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut, to legalize same-sex marriage. As the Iowa Supreme Court proclaimed, "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 ruling resulted in much polarization on both the state and national levels, to say the least. It was harshly criticized as an act of regression by some and wholly praised as a major beacon of progress by others. Many critics of the ruling argued that it could have profoundly negative moral and religious implications. However, for supporters, the ruling was a big step towards equality and a crucial advancement for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual (LGBT) individuals. With this In-Depth section, the WEB seeks to shed a light on some of the complex issues and abstruse consequences encompassing this specific ruling and LGBT rights, in general. We hope to both facilitate a greater understanding of these issues and provide a complete analysis of the moral and legal implications that surround the Iowa Supreme Court ruling. To fully understand the ruling, it is imperative to examine what went into making the decision. The Iowa Supreme Court explained its reasoning by stating, "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." Ultimately, the WEB hopes that with a greater awareness of the controversial topics that surround LGBT rights, readers of this section will be able to formulate a well-informed opinion of the Iowa Supreme Court ruling and LGBT issues, in general, based on evidence presented with both sides of the issue in mind, rather than a misinformed judgment based on ignorance, hate, or blind emotional conviction.