Friday, August 31, 2007

Same-sex Marriage in Iowa?

A county district court in Iowa has ruled that the state must allow same-sex couples to enter into civil marriages, and that the state law defining marriage as "one man and one woman" violates the state constitution. The case was brought in Polk County, which is to say the capital and largest city, Des Moines. About 1 in 9 Iowans lives in Polk County. County officials have vowed to fight the ruling, which will probably end up before the state supreme court.

The arguments advanced by opponents of same-sex marriage are crumbling. The claim that marriage as an institution is primarily about the children, is absurd. Every single marriage involves the adults who get married; not every marriage involves children. Therefore, marriage is primarily about the adults. Beyond that, of course, many same-sex couples have children, and they have no less need for the legal protections of marriage than opposite-sex parents. The argument that the state has an interest in promoting the "traditional" family structure is no more valid than the claim that the state has an interest in promoting the traditional Christian family structure. The cornerstone of liberty is that I get to live my life the way I see fit, unless and until I impinge upon someone else's liberty. No one can argue that a same-sex marriage, with or without children, in any way impinges on anyone else's liberty. Thousands of very real families have been traumatized by incidents that civil marriage would have protected them against; not one single "traditional" family has ever suffered in the least because of someone else's same-sex relationship.

The writing is on the wall, and the opponents of same-sex marriage know it. If you compare the attitudes of people under 30 to the attitudes of people over 50, the trend is unmistakable. It is only a matter of time before every single state and the federal government recognize gay marriages. That's why the "traditional values" folks are so hell-bent on writing bigotry into the state and federal constitutions, to make it more difficult for America to finally do the right thing.

Technorati tags: ,