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Tags court decisions , gay marriage , Iowa politics , judicial activism charges

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Old 30th August 2007, 07:06 PM   #1
DoubtingStephen
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Activist Judge Overturns Iowa AntiGay Marriage Law

An "activist judge" has ruled that the Iowa gay panic sanctity of marriage law is unconstitutional.

Quote:
In his ruling, Hanson said the state law allowing marriage only between a man and a woman violates the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.

"Couples, such as plaintiffs, who are otherwise qualified to marry one another may not be denied licenses to marry or certificates of marriage or in any other way prevented from entering into a civil marriage ... by reason of the fact that both persons comprising such a couple are of the same sex," he said.

The judge said the state law banning same-sex marriage must be nullified, severed and stricken from the books and the marriage laws "must be read and applied in a gender neutral manner so as to permit same-sex couples to enter into a civil marriage..."
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Old 30th August 2007, 07:10 PM   #2
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Good for him. I hope more judges rule the same way.
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Old 30th August 2007, 07:30 PM   #3
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Here's my prediction. Come back in four years to see how I did:

1. Judge grants stay pending appeal, preventing gays in Iowa from marrying.

2. Iowa Court of Appeals hears the case, finds the law unconstitutional on a technical issue nobody even brought up.

3. Iowa's Supreme Court hears the case, finds the law overbroad and orders the Legislature to create a civil marriage statute within ninety days.

4. Legislature hangs itself up, creating an utterly unworkable law.

5. A second round of suits ends in the Supreme Court ordering county clerks to allow gays to marry.

6. For four months, gay marriage is legal in the State of Iowa.

7. Iowa passes a Constitutional Amendment barring gay marriage but ordering insurance agencies to extend benefits to "queer life partners, interior decorators and women with mullets."

8. Campaigning for President in Iowa, Senator Clinton speaks of her affection for homosexuals, famously saying, "As you all know, my mother President Clinton was gay."

9. Aliens attack and we are enslaved by insect overlords.
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Old 30th August 2007, 07:52 PM   #4
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Of course the judge will be harshly villified.

A losing district attorney commented, after the judge ruled, that this matter should not be decided by a judge.

Usually in a state where a court has ruled in a fashion that favors equal rights for gay people, the folks opposed to equality say that it is not a matter for the courts to decide. In many states legislatures have passed laws preventing gay marriage, there was no conservative response that this is not a matter for the legislature.

Here in California, when the legislature passed a bill that would allow gay marriage, our Party of Jesus Governator said it was not a matter that should be decided by the legislature. He vetoed the bill. Apparently it should be decided by the Governator.
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Old 30th August 2007, 08:45 PM   #5
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This judge will get a bit of fan mail from me, that's for sure.

This guy is my hero. I'm straight, but it bothers me to the core that someone who is not is denied rights that are given me for no good reason.

Washington, a very liberal state, has one of the lamest civil union laws ever. When you go to the page to download the form, it says it "registers your civil union but does not grant any legal rights". A complete joke.

My husband has suggested we divorce and get a civil union instead. Then I told him the only reason I married him was in case of emergency............
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Old 30th August 2007, 08:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DoubtingStephen View Post
An "activist judge" has ruled that the Iowa gay panic sanctity of marriage law is unconstitutional.

Link

In his ruling, Hanson said the state law allowing marriage only between a man and a woman violates the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.
It's sorta simple, that Fourteenth Amendment deal, isn't it? I am not so sure I get his "due process" finding as well as the equal protection, but the element of the XIVth has been the 800 pound gorilla in the room the whole time.

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Old 31st August 2007, 03:07 AM   #7
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Do opponents of gay marriage realize they're fighting a losing battle? Once the Baby Boomer generation starts dying out, the more liberal but less numerous younger generations will be enacting all sorts of wacky things. Kids these days aren't afraid of the gays at all, because they grew up with Spongebob and Tinky Winky and Steve from Blue's Clues. (I know, I know, Steve's not. But it would be awesome if he were. Dreamy. I'd totally gaymarry him.)
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Old 31st August 2007, 06:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
(I know, I know, Steve's not. But it would be awesome if he were. Dreamy. I'd totally gaymarry him.)
You're just falling for the heroin chic.
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Old 31st August 2007, 06:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Do opponents of gay marriage realize they're fighting a losing battle?
Oh absolutely! Why do you think they are in such a rush to get this stuff passed NOW, without hesitation. It can't be because there is this massive rush of gay marriages happening everywhere. I said this long ago. They are doing it now because they know in 20 years no one will care.

In fact, when I write to my representatives and whatnot, this is the argument I make. Why rush? Why not give it time and let's see how much of a problem gay marriage is. Right now it obviously is not a real issue. Until it looks to actually be causing a problem in society, let's hold off on making any serious changes.

If Massachussetts falls to pieces because of their legalization of gay marriage, then we can act. But if they don't, then why bother?
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Old 31st August 2007, 07:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Miss Anthrope View Post
My husband has suggested we divorce and get a civil union instead. Then I told him the only reason I married him was in case of emergency............
You could divorce and get a civil union and also sign enduring power of attorney over to each other.
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Old 31st August 2007, 07:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DoubtingStephen View Post
Here in California, when the legislature passed a bill that would allow gay marriage, our Party of Jesus Governator said it was not a matter that should be decided by the legislature. He vetoed the bill. Apparently it should be decided by the Governator.
This is rich given the conservative principle is that big cultural shifts should only happen via deliberative, legislative process. That doesn't mean he should feel he should have not vetoed it, but it does mean he should take the decision of his own state legislature seriously.

And if it shouldn't be in the hands of the legislature, in whose hands should it be?
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Old 31st August 2007, 10:12 AM   #12
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Party of Jesus Presidential Candidate and Magic Underwear aficionado Mitt Romney has not disappointed by attacking the Judge using standard Party of Jesus ad hominem technique:
Quote:
"The ruling in Iowa today is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act," Romney said in a statement issued by his campaign. "This once again highlights the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman."
Note that Mitt carefully avoided using troublesome phrases like equal rights.

It's all about the imaginary evil condemned by the Imaginary Bearded Sky Daddy.

Looks like Mitt has the hatemonger vote locked up already.
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Old 31st August 2007, 10:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
This is rich given the conservative principle is that big cultural shifts should only happen via deliberative, legislative process. That doesn't mean he should feel he should have not vetoed it, but it does mean he should take the decision of his own state legislature seriously.

And if it shouldn't be in the hands of the legislature, in whose hands should it be?
From Wiki:

Quote:
In February 2004 when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, ordered a change in the certificate application documents to allow for same-sex marriages, Governor Schwarzenegger opposed the move as being beyond the powers of the mayor but also said that he supports gay rights and has expressed support for a law to grant civil unions to gay couples.

In 2005 when he vetoed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriages he defended his actions by saying that California voters had passed an initiative banning such recognition and that he supports that state's domestic partnership law that gives same-sex couples many of the same rights as a heterosexual married couple.

Still, critics have observed that there is no federal requirement that other states recognize a state-granted domestic partnership, as is the case with marriages under the Full Faith and Credit Clause
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Old 31st August 2007, 02:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Here's my prediction. Come back in four years to see how I did:

1. Judge grants stay pending appeal, preventing gays in Iowa from marrying.

2. Iowa Court of Appeals hears the case, finds the law unconstitutional on a technical issue nobody even brought up.

3. Iowa's Supreme Court hears the case, finds the law overbroad and orders the Legislature to create a civil marriage statute within ninety days.

4. Legislature hangs itself up, creating an utterly unworkable law.

5. A second round of suits ends in the Supreme Court ordering county clerks to allow gays to marry.

6. For four months, gay marriage is legal in the State of Iowa.

7. Iowa passes a Constitutional Amendment barring gay marriage but ordering insurance agencies to extend benefits to "queer life partners, interior decorators and women with mullets."

8. Campaigning for President in Iowa, Senator Clinton speaks of her affection for homosexuals, famously saying, "As you all know, my mother President Clinton was gay."

9. Aliens attack and we are enslaved by insect overlords.
I think I speak for everyone when I say, I for one welcome our new activist insect overlords.

(ETA: 1 marriage and 1 ruling stayed pending appeal)

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Old 31st August 2007, 02:04 PM   #15
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Ha ha.
Quote:
Republican House Minority Leader Christopher Rants, said the ruling illustrates the need for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
The Minority Leader Rants.

Last edited by Invidious; 31st August 2007 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Damn paste added a hyperlink; I HATE hyperlinks!
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Old 1st September 2007, 03:39 PM   #16
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The whole thing is a moot point - there are no gays in Iowa. Have you ever been to the state fair? Nothing but one tubby after another, all eating fried <insert food item here> on a stick. And everyone knows that gays are thin.
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Old 1st September 2007, 03:51 PM   #17
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Anybody know where one can send the judge an e-mail congratulating him on his courage?
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Old 1st September 2007, 04:21 PM   #18
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Yay Iowa judge.


hey Washington state Democratic Supermajority in the legislature:
LET ME GET MARRIED IDIOTS!

hey Washington state supreme court: read this ruling and LEARN SOMETHING IDIOTS!

Seriously, Iowa? Before Washington, Oregon, California, New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and all the supposedly liberal states but Massachusetts? Get with it liberals, help a gay man out here.
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Old 1st September 2007, 04:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
The whole thing is a moot point - there are no gays in Iowa. Have you ever been to the state fair? Nothing but one tubby after another, all eating fried <insert food item here> on a stick. And everyone knows that gays are thin.

The movie State Fair, set at the Iowa State Fair, is the gayest movie ever made.
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Old 1st September 2007, 05:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by hgc View Post
The movie State Fair, set at the Iowa State Fair, is the gayest movie ever made.

You have clearly never seen Gigi.


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Old 1st September 2007, 05:32 PM   #21
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I really have never figured out why anyone would be against gay marriage, if it doesn't hurt them in any way?
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Old 1st September 2007, 06:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by nightwind View Post
I really have never figured out why anyone would be against gay marriage, if it doesn't hurt them in any way?
I think that the people in Iowa are desperately afraid there will be thousands of deaths as a result of the destruction of the Sanctity of Marriage. Take Massachusetts as an example. In only 2.5 years of gay marriage there have already been zero deaths, property values have gone down by 0%, and up to zero fundamentalist Christians have been forced to flee the state as a result of marital sanctity gay panic syndrome.

Seriously though, there are some people that are so stupid that when Fundamentalist Christian leaders predict non-specific dire consequences they believe it. We call these people the majority.
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Old 1st September 2007, 07:03 PM   #23
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Yeah this is one subject where I simply cannot comprehend the thought process of the people who disagree with me. I'm pro-choice but I understand the pro-lifer position. Some take to extremes, but I get where they're coming from, I really do. But there is just nothing that makes sense about the obsessive drive to stop gay marriage. I honestly don't understand what's supposed to be so pressing and perilous. What do they honestly think the worst-case scenario is here?
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Old 1st September 2007, 07:10 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by yodaluver28 View Post
Yeah this is one subject where I simply cannot comprehend the thought process of the people who disagree with me. I'm pro-choice but I understand the pro-lifer position. Some take to extremes, but I get where they're coming from, I really do. But there is just nothing that makes sense about the obsessive drive to stop gay marriage. I honestly don't understand what's supposed to be so pressing and perilous. What do they honestly think the worst-case scenario is here?
Awesome post. Couldn't agree more.
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Old 1st September 2007, 07:21 PM   #25
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For the men who oppose gay marriage, maybe they are afraid that if the law would permit them to leave their wives and marry another man they would not be able to resist the all-powerful lure of gay sex. And of course once they try it...

That's why the good folks at Homosexual Agenda Headquarters have a squad of US Senators going around giving out free samples, it's our annual recruitment drive! There are only so many priests, after all.
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Old 1st September 2007, 07:33 PM   #26
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I am shocked and dismayed at the complete lack of support for my assertion that Gigi is the gayest movie ever.

Followed closely by Barbarella.
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Old 1st September 2007, 08:48 PM   #27
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Gigli. *shudder*

Anyway, with a small view, comes intolerance, I suppose... not that I'd know..
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Old 1st September 2007, 10:21 PM   #28
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I think a large part of it comes from a fear of the unknown and the consequences of that unknown.

My Mom (who steadfastly believes I'm gay just because I can't get girlfriends) thinks that if gay marriage were legal that other things that are supposedly fundamental to society will disappear. For example she thinks that if a society can make gay marriage legal, then why not make theft legal, or murder legal? For her, and others like her, all abject morality, and laws derived from them, is not the product of a collaborative society but dictated by divine authority. For these people murder isn't wrong because it has ended a distinct human life, it's wrong because God commanded it was to be wrong. So for them because religious authority continues to state it's wrong, regardless of it's inherent irrationality, it is wrong. That it harms no one is irrelevant to them.

Now what makes this even more confusing is that these same people will often rationalize themselves around God's Will in other areas. Rationalizing theft or understanding that outlawing coveting, a thought process, itself is rather silly and impossible. But for this one, they stand their ground. To account for that one must also understand that the secondary element of this is the halcyonic view of the past that they have. Gays just didn't get married in the good-old-days and so they shouldn't now. This is the same mindset that kept women "in the kitchen" and out of the workplace for far too long.

Just my 2 cents on it.
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Old 2nd September 2007, 06:27 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
To account for that one must also understand that the secondary element of this is the halcyonic view of the past that they have. Gays just didn't get married in the good-old-days and so they shouldn't now.

Medieval gay marriage!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20464004/
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Old 2nd September 2007, 08:05 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by yodaluver28 View Post
Yeah this is one subject where I simply cannot comprehend the thought process of the people who disagree with me. I'm pro-choice but I understand the pro-lifer position. Some take to extremes, but I get where they're coming from, I really do. But there is just nothing that makes sense about the obsessive drive to stop gay marriage. I honestly don't understand what's supposed to be so pressing and perilous. What do they honestly think the worst-case scenario is here?
I've heard some voice concerns that legalized gay marriage will anger their god, and he'll vent his wrath on the whole country for allowing it to happen. He'll send things like 9-11s, hurricanes, and season after season of American Idol. Of course, we get all those things anyway, but that's just because we're still debating the issue.
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Old 2nd September 2007, 08:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by yodaluver28 View Post
What do they honestly think the worst-case scenario is here?
Hello? Baby Jeebus returns and destroys the world. It's fairly common knowledge.
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Old 2nd September 2007, 08:47 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I've heard some voice concerns that legalized gay marriage will anger their god, and he'll vent his wrath on the whole country for allowing it to happen. He'll send things like 9-11s, hurricanes, and season after season of American Idol. Of course, we get all those things anyway, but that's just because we're still debating the issue.

Ah, collective guilt. Perhaps the worst and most dangerous aspect if religion, as it justifies control by religious authority over non-adherents.
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Old 2nd September 2007, 09:28 AM   #33
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Well, any time their anti-gay God wants to duke it out, man against fairy tale, I'm ready!
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Old 2nd September 2007, 05:48 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Here's my prediction. Come back in four years to see how I did:
[spoiler omitted]
...2. Iowa Court of Appeals hears the case, finds the law unconstitutional on a technical issue nobody even brought up.

3. Iowa's Supreme Court hears the case, finds the law overbroad and orders the Legislature to create a civil marriage statute within ninety days.
...
There's trouble right there in River City. In Iowa, appeals go directly from the district court to the Supreme Court. They do not ordinarily go through the Court of Appeals.

Iowa has a Court of Appeals, but the Court of Appeals hears cases assigned to it by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court retains the right to "further review" of Court of Appeals decisions. A link to the basics. (By the way, if you thinks this is confusing, as a New York lawyer why his Court of Appeals is higher than his Supreme Court.)

The issue in such a case is unlikely to be deflected to the Court of Appeals. Chances are the Supreme Court would hear the case itself.

I just wanted to make that procedural point before addressing the issue in a little more detail.
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Old 2nd September 2007, 06:00 PM   #35
Brown
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Originally Posted by DoubtingStephen View Post
A losing district attorney commented, after the judge ruled, that this matter should not be decided by a judge.
Another minor point. Iowa has County Attorneys, not District Attorneys. Same thing, but different title. The current County Attorney in Polk County is John Sarcone. The attorney who argued--apparently to Judge Hanson--that the issue is not for the judge to decide was an Assistant County Attorney, according to the Des Moines Register.
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Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I am very sorry. I wish it were otherwise.
-- The Day The Earth Stood Still, screenplay by Edmund H. North

"Don't you get me wrong. I only want to know." -- Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, lyrics by Tim Rice
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Old 2nd September 2007, 06:02 PM   #36
ponderingturtle
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Originally Posted by yodaluver28 View Post
Yeah this is one subject where I simply cannot comprehend the thought process of the people who disagree with me. I'm pro-choice but I understand the pro-lifer position. Some take to extremes, but I get where they're coming from, I really do. But there is just nothing that makes sense about the obsessive drive to stop gay marriage. I honestly don't understand what's supposed to be so pressing and perilous. What do they honestly think the worst-case scenario is here?
The main reason seems to be, if it was such a good thing, they would have set that up a long time ago. So because marriage as a tradition is old you must keep it as it is.

The arguments about families don't hold up because if you really thought that then you should want to make even more drastic changes to marriage than letting two individuals of the same sex marry.
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Old 2nd September 2007, 06:13 PM   #37
Terry
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Originally Posted by DoubtingStephen View Post
Well, any time their anti-gay God wants to duke it out, man fairy against fairy tale, I'm ready!
Fixed it for you, dear
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Old 2nd September 2007, 06:15 PM   #38
DoubtingStephen
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Thank you dear, I sort of thought somebody might seize that opportunity.
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Old 2nd September 2007, 08:03 PM   #39
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Here is a link to the judge's decision. I recommend reading it. Whether you agree with the decision or not, you should read it in order to be well-informed. (I have previously taken others to task for expressing very strong opinions about documents that they have not bothered to read.)

The plaintiffs in the case are individuals who want to marry. The defendant is the former Polk County Recorder/Registrar who refused to allow the marriages to be recognized (and this is why the Assistant Polk County Attorney was arguing in the case).

Judge Hanson begins with some basic stuff, subjects taught in the first year of law school. What is summary judgment? What is relevant evidence? Basic stuff.

Things start to get interesting when Judge Hanson rules that the testimony of some so-called experts is inadmissible. Experts on ethics, religion and law were determined to be unqualified. The reasons given are interesting. In the case of one so-called expert, she didn't want to support her findings with "empirical research and methods of logical reasoning," preferring instead to rely upon "moral intuition." Judge Hanson found two other individuals likewise unqualified:
Quote:
The views espoused by these individuals appear to be largely personal and not based on observation supported by scientific methodology or based on empirical research in any sense.
Still other experts are disregarded for having no empirical research to back up their testimony. They want to express opinions about sociological matters without having any training in sociology or social science. They want to express opinions about child development without having any training in that field. They want to express opinions about psychological matters without having any training in psychology or psychiatry.

It is strongly implied that these folks all want to tell the judge what the law ought to be (and not merely the impact of a law upon people). Although the Judge does not put it in this way, there is no person in the world who is qualified to sit in the witness chair and tell the judge what the law is or is not or ought to be. In his courtroom, only the judge is qualified to decide these things. (Police officers are very aware that a judge does not let a witness testify about law, and they know that they are not permitted to testify that a person was "operating a vehicle illegally" or intoxicated "above the legal limit.")

Although the Judge ruled that some of the experts would not be considered, he also ruled that three remaining individuals were experts in medicine, child development and mental health. Their testimony, he said, would be considered.

The Plaintiffs (the individuals who wanted to marry) had their own experts as well. One of them was Dan Johnston, whom I mention, but not by name, in this thread. Johnston was one of the men who argued the famous Tinker case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I worked for him for a few months. Another witness was John Schmacker, who used to go to the same church I did (he was an excellent musician and was the church organist for many years). Judge Hanson ruled that Johnston's and Schmacker's testimony was anecdotal and inadmissible, for basically the same reason that some of the defendants' expert testimony was inadmissible.

Those who would label Judge Hanson as "activist" or "legislating from the bench" would do well to read those sections of his opinion in which he discusses evidence. Legislatures are not bound by such rules of evidence, but Judge Hanson is. Moreover, Judge Hanson will not consider personal opinion, no matter how deeply held or how prestigious the person holding it, without some specialized study backing it up.

There follows a rather illuminating discussion of some of the testimony proffered to the judge. Basically, the judge is posturing the matter to move it toward a ruling, but the discussion is interesting nevertheless.

Beginning on page 16 is the list of facts that (according to the judge) is not subject to material dispute. One of those key facts is that homosexuals in a committed relationship are not treated the same way as heterosexuals in a committed relationship. In other words, that there is discrimination is not in dispute at all. The principal question is: Is this discrimination legitimate? Generally speaking, legitimate discrimination is constitutional (under the Iowa Constitution and the U.S. Constitution, although the two constitutions may disagree on the standards of legitimacy), while illegitimate discrimination is not.

The statute in question provides: "Only a marriage between a male and female is valid." The Plaintiffs challenged the statute under the Iowa Constitution, NOT the U.S. Constitution.

Many of the harms that result from this discrimination are set out in the judge's opinion. They are deemed not subject to dispute. Gay couples are stigmatized. Their children, not being able to benefit from a family marriage, are bastards. Things in daily life that married couples take for granted are denied to those in committed gay partnerships. The list of disparities is a long one.

Beginning on page 27 is a list of facts about sexual orientation. According to Judge Hanson, none of them is in dispute:
Quote:
57. Homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality....

58. As lesbians and gay men, each of the Plaintiffs experiences an innate attraction to people of the same sex. Plaintiffs would not help (and cannot change) that they have fallen in love with a person of the same sex.

59. A person's sexual orientation is highly resistant to change.
...
62. Sexual orientation is a trait unrelated to ability....

72. Nothing about a parent's sex or sexual orientation affects either that parent's capacity to be a good parent or a child's healthy development ("adjustment").
...
74. Children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as well-adjusted and as psychologically, emotionally, educationally and socially successful as children raised by heterosexual parents.
...
76. (I)t is also well-established that children do not need a parent of each gender to be well adjusted, that both men and women have the capacity to be good parents, and that children do not need male and female role models in the home to develop normally.
There are those who (assuming they read this document) would howl at such findings. And yet, contrary findings were not supported by any admissible evidence.

Beginning on page 37, Judge Hanson discusses the extensive and "unthinkable" changes that have occurred to the institution of marriage over the years. Wives used to be property. Certain racial and ethnic prohibitions used to be commonplace. Divorce used to be fault-driven.

Judge Hanson properly points out that Iowa has been very progressive in the area of family law: the third state to do away with miscegenation laws, the second state to institute no-fault divorce. (Judge Hanson does not go into detail, but Iowa has a very impressive record on women's rights and opportunities for women in schools, government and social programs. This is a touchy subject, however, because more modern voters swatted down several equal rights amendments to the Iowa Constitution. Iowans adopted an ERA a few years ago, however.)

At issue is the sex-role conformity that still is a part of Iowa law. The progressive history that leveled the playing field for women and for many other minorities has not been applied to gays. On the contrary, the state legislature has deliberately and repeatedly tried to keep homosexuals from having legal protection.

Against this factual background, Judge Hanson turned to the law (page 43). And in my next post, so do I.
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Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I am very sorry. I wish it were otherwise.
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"Don't you get me wrong. I only want to know." -- Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, lyrics by Tim Rice
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Old 2nd September 2007, 09:17 PM   #40
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Arguments against homosexual marriage range from the well-meaning to the absurd to the outright hateful. If you'll permit me, I'd like to recap:
  1. Appeal to emotion fallacy - 'think of how much the poor children of gay parents will be bullied!'. Lacks grounding in reality. Kids of gay people are treated as well as kids of straight people by their peers. It's also worth mentioning that if fundies want to do something good for these kids, they should research the subject and stop mercilessly subjecting their parents to hatred. Children should not be forced to grow up watching their parents take flak more efficiently than a Ju-87 bomber over London during the dreaded Blitz.
  2. Appeal to religion. In my view, myths and politics, and as a side note nationalism and politics, should be separated by as thick a wall as possible. If you have a case to make, make it with logic and reason. Oh, and your bigoted notion that the US was founded as a Christian nation and that every state which strays from the One True Law™ will become Communist or get bombed by brimstone can end. Now.
  3. Slippery slope fallacy - if we allow gay marriage, people will start pushing for marriage between man and animal, or adults and kids! etc. Totally irrelevant. Legalizing gay marriage will very likely encourage nutters to push their wishes, but we'll take that as it comes. You can't make decisions based on the slippery slope idea unless you can prove to me that the slope is sufficiently slippery to prevent any sort of efficient braking.
  4. Appeal to tradition fallacy. Tradition is merely lots of people systematically doing the same thing over a long period. This is inherently irrelevant to whether or not the action is desirable. A democratic tradition is worth maintaining, a tradition of slavery is not. You get my point.
  5. Appeal to the 'sanctity of marriage' (what the [rule 8] does 'sanctity' mean anyways?!). This usually is a two-fold argument, part an ignorant appeal to tradition stating that marriage has always been inter-gender, and part the nutcase hypothesis that the gay rights movement is responsible for the rising divorce rates. This conveniently disregarding that correlation does not have to equal causation. I also wonder if the people using this argument realize that 'in the good ole days™', you couldn't marry outside your religion and ethnicity, and spouses couldn't divorce their abusive spouses. Is that really what they want to return to? It's as much 'tradition' as the restriction on gay marriage, after all.
  6. Appeal to nature. Bigots love to claim that animals don't engage in homosexuality. Funny thing is that whenever it's pointed out to them by me that this is not true, they forget they ever thought it mattered in the first place and start demanding that I tell them how on Earth the degree of homosexuality in nature could possibly be relevant to the discussion. For real. It virtually never fails. They do it nearly every time.
  7. Appeal to democracy, popular opinion, roles of certain institutions in making decisions, etc. Possibly the only point in the whole list to not be total nonsense.
  8. Fallacious appeal to - of all things under the Sun - the bloody dictionary. 'This book of mine says only men and women marries and doesn't speak off those guys with teh ghey!'. Right. And the entry on 'Flight' in my encyclopedia from 1894 has no reference to airplanes. I suppose we should stop saying airplanes 'fly', then, as that word is restricted to birds? 'You're in violation of key paragraphs of our God-inspired... dictionary and the sanctity of flight! Yeah. Stop. Now!'. Right. Bring it on.
  9. Misunderstandings on fitness of parenting. See later in my post.
  10. Other arguments not worth mentioning, like 'OMG it's teh grosses me out!!111'. Lots of things gross me out. I don't try to ban any of them.
Quote:
72. Nothing about a parent's sex or sexual orientation affects either that parent's capacity to be a good parent or a child's healthy development ("adjustment").
Fundies will start screaming about how he's endorsing pedophilia in 6... 5... 4...

Quote:
74. Children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as well-adjusted and as psychologically, emotionally, educationally and socially successful as children raised by heterosexual parents.

76. (I)t is also well-established that children do not need a parent of each gender to be well adjusted, that both men and women have the capacity to be good parents, and that children do not need male and female role models in the home to develop normally.
In fact, there are studies that show that children of lesbian parents perform better socially and are less frequently abused than children of heterosexual parents. Let me see if I can dig it up.

Doesn't bode well for us guys. What with women being able to make kids with each others through modern science, and proving fit to be better parents without us... looks like we're becoming obsolete.

Quote:
The arguments about families don't hold up because if you really thought that then you should want to make even more drastic changes to marriage than letting two individuals of the same sex marry.
Exactly. Lots of people like to use gays as scapegoats for the rising divorce rates. This probably so they won't have to actually work to reduce it by means of education or funding to marriage counseling or other measures. I myself am very much in favor of High School classes telling kids what to expect from marriage, how to plan ahead, divide responsibility and handle conflicts, and so on. Put it into Home Economics or make it a whole new subject. With divorce rates over 50%, it's certainly more than important enough.
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