I have to admit I’m surprised that a Midwestern state has overturned a gay marriage ban. However, Iowa recently has seemed more progressive than a lot of the rest of the region.
Today’s announcement really does put Iowa ahead of most of the country not just the reasonably conservative Midwest. The Justices recognized that it was their duty to act in this case.
A statute inconsistent with the Iowa Constitution must be declared
void, even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional
beliefs and popular opinion.
An article on the case with reactions and links to the ruling can be found at:
The ruling does not require religious organizations to perform same sex marriages. Rather, it addresses the rights of individuals to have civil ceremonies recognized by the state as marriages. If a religion does not support same sex marriages they will not be forced to perform them. Religion is protected from the influence of the state. Equally, the state is protected from being forced to discriminate based solely on the religious views of part of the populace.
Hopefully, this ruling serves as a model for other similar cases across the nation.