BLOG: Activist judge enforces Constitution

Subject to Complete Defeasance
September 3, 2007
In this case, the judge noted that U.S. Supreme Court and Iowa Supreme Court have deemed marriage a fundamental right. On that basis he applied strict scrutiny and shot down the law because the purported state interests — (1) promoting procreation, (2) promoting child-rearing in a mother-father setting, (3) promoting stability in opposite-sex relationships, (4) conserving public and private resources, and (5) "promoting the concept or integrity of traditional marriage" — are not compelling. In addition, the means of promoting those interest, namely a total ban on same-sex marriages, isn't narrowly tailored to produce those results. For instance, the defense never managed to articulate exactly how precluding gays from marrying promotes procreation. [Link]

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OPINION: When judges rule, politicians drool

Mason City Globe Gazette
September 2, 2007
Hanson ruled that a law designed to marginalize a certain group of citizens has no place on the books. The Iowa Supreme Court may overrule him, but that message isn't going away. Fairness still means something, even in a country painted in dark shades of red and blue. Like it or not, history is on a long and arduous but constant arc toward greater acceptance and tolerance. You can slow it down, but you can't stop it. [Link]

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OPINION: Believing in the importance and the sanctity of marriage

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
August 31, 2007
I believe in the sanctity of marriage; in fact, it's a tradition I aspire to emulate. For me, marriage is more than just a word; it's the embodiment of an idea to which I am deeply loyal. Marriage sanctifies the love and commitment that form the basis of a strong, morally upright family. "Civil union," by contrast, is a sterile and relatively meaningless term. Those who support civil unions and oppose gay marriage, including nearly all of the Democratic presidential candidates, fail to understand that nobody views marriage in terms of government benefits. [link]

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Marriage victory in IA district court

Gay City News
August 30, 2007
This article provides a good summary of the Iowa decision. From a legal perspective, the critical portion of the opinion is the judge's explanation of why the record compels the conclusion that the state's anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. He accepts the argument that the relevant issue under the state Constitution from a due process perspective is not whether 'gay marriage' is a fundamental right, but rather whether same-sex couples have the right to marry, since the right to marry is in itself a fundamental right. [Link]

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Iowa Court Issues Decision in Lambda Legal’s Historic Lawsuit: Same-Sex Couples Must Be Allowed to M

Lambda Legal
August 30, 2007

In a powerful, closely reasoned 63-pp. decision, an Iowa trial court struck down the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. The court found that the denial of marriage harms couples and their kids, while helping no one and serving no legitimate government interest. The ruling is a victory for families and fairness in America's heartland. [link] Read the decision here.

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OPINON: Reunite This Family

The Boston Globe
August 27, 2007

Because Congress passed — and former President Clinton signed — the mean-spirited Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, no federal rights extend to gay and lesbian couples. The ability of a US citizen to sponsor a husband or wife for immigration to the United States, called a form I-130, is just one of them. "Same-sex couples are utterly shut out of that process," says Mary Bonauto, the lawyer who argued the Goodridge case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that led to legalized gay marriages in the state. [Link]

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Poll: Young voters disenchanted with Republican party’s stance on marriage, among others

San Francisco Chronicle
August 27, 2007
Young Americans have become so profoundly alienated from Republican ideals on issues including the war in Iraq, global warming, marriage for gay and lesbian couples, and illegal immigration that their defections suggest a political setback that could haunt Republicans "for many generations to come," the poll said. [link]

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COLUMN: Same-sex and worried about retirement

The Washington Post
August 26, 2007
Columnist Martha Hamilton writes about the financial difficulties many same-sex couples face because they cannot receive the tax breaks and retirement benefits that come with marriage. [Link]

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Midieval civil unions existed

Science Daily
August 25, 2007
In late medieval France, the term affrèrement -- roughly translated as brotherment -- was used to refer to a certain type of legal contract, which also existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe. These documents provided the foundation for non-nuclear households of many types and shared many characteristics with marriage contracts, as legal writers at the time were well aware, according to Allan A. Tulchin (Shippensburg University). [link]

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Zogby Poll: New Jerseyans say change civil unions law to real marriage equality

Garden State Equality
August 16, 2007
As New Jersey marks the six-month anniversary of the civil unions law this Sunday, August 19, a new statewide Zogby Poll shows majorities of voters favoring changing the law to full marriage equality for same-sex couples. By 63% to 31%, New Jersey voters say they'd be fine with the state legislature upgrading civil unions to marriage equality. By 72% to 21%, New Jersey voters say state legislators would be in no electoral danger if they enacted marriage equality. By 61% to 29%, New Jersey voters say they expect the state to enact marriage equality within just a couple of years. [Link]

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