It's happened again. A state constitution, mirroring the federal Constitution, has determined that Americans have equal protection under the law. According to the NY Times:
Iowa became the first state in the Midwest to approve same-sex marriage on Friday, after the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously decided that a 1998 law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional. “The Iowa statuteBut the cloud of “marriage” has obscured the attempt to remove the rights people have, including gay people, to be treated alike. That’s the bottom line and the Iowa Supreme Court pointed out that important fact:
limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision. “Equal protection under the Iowa Constitution is essentially a direction that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike.
Since territorial times, Iowa has given meaning to this constitutional provision, striking blows to slavery and segregation, and recognizing women’s rights. The court found the issue of same-sex marriage comes to it with the same importance as the landmark cases of the past.”But should the mod mentality of the majority over rule the natural sexual inclinations of an American and allow for a “separate but equal” second class level of citizenship? They think so, and they are called once again to shred the Constitution.
Opponents of same-sex marriage criticized the ruling. “The decision made by the Iowa Supreme Court today to allow gay marriage in Iowa is disappointing on many levels," State Senator Paul McKinley, the Republican leader, said in a statement on The Des Moines Register’s Web site. "I believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman and I am confident the majority of Iowans want traditional marriage to be legally recognized in this state. Though the court has made their decision, I believe every Iowan should have a voice on this matter and that is why the Iowa Legislature should immediately act to pass a Constitutional Amendment that protects traditional marriage, keeps it as a sacredbond only between one man and one woman and gives every Iowan a chance to have their say through a vote of the people."I’m sure slavery, segregation and not recognizing a woman’s right to vote might have had majority public support at one time, but the Constitution protected against that. Where are the strict conservative constructionist judges and justices on the issue of adding additional meaning to the original intent of the founding fathers on equal protection? Shouldn’t they oppose these changes?
Unfortunately we already know they answer to that question. Conservative authoritarians always knows what’s best.