Iowa became the third state in the US to legalize gay marriage. Today, in a unanimous decision, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the restriction of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
“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 Supreme Court wrote in its decision. “The Legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification.”
Think about those words for a moment. I think, in two sentences, they have summarized my frustrations about such legislation. No important objective behind it – and no constitutional justification. Summarizes it well, in my opinion.
A friend from high school and I had an interesting discussion about this today – thanks to Facebook. She and I both escaped Iowa and landed on the west coast. We were celebrating the ruling in Iowa while at the same time wondering why our respective states can’t get it together. She pondered how it is that we grew up in a town of 13,000 people where our exposure to race issues was limited to our two non-white classmates – yet both us refuse to judge others who are not like us – race, gender, sexual orientation.
Her question/observation has been very interesting to consider. I think, for us, we were used to being judged. We were both from families that were “working poor”, living paycheck to paycheck. We were never going to have the best clothes, best car to drive, or loads of money to toss around on unimportant things. She and I worked our asses off to have what we did. We were used to being judged by others, not by our actions, but by these things we could not control. In a later message, she speculated, “maybe we were loved enough that we didn’t need to take things out on other people.” Knowing her mom and my parents, I think there was something to it. Our families were very inclusive and helped out those who needed it in whatever way we could. It was the way we were raised – not to judge.
I told her that maybe we both realized that the world was too big to be narrow in our thinking.
Either way, we are both proud and happy to be from Iowa today. Now, if only the rest of the country would get their asses in gear and put this issue to bed.