Michael Judge in the Wall Street Journal, on the gay marriage ruling in Iowa:
My brother and I and millions of Iowans are proud of our state at this moment. Others aren’t. There are many (some of them beloved family members) who believe marriage, civil or otherwise, should only be between a man and woman; others aren’t opposed to same-sex marriage but don’t think the courts should mandate it. Indeed, there’s a movement here in Iowa as in other states to amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union solely between a man and woman. (Such an amendment couldn’t get on the ballot here until 2012 at the earliest.)
To this, I would simply ask why? Why blemish our constitution and narrow our definition of equal protection when our state has been a leader on such historic civil-rights issues as slavery, interracial marriage, women’s rights, and desegregation?
As the court wrote in its decision: “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 legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification.”
Here’s to marriage, a “supremely important civil institution.” And here’s to including, not excluding, kind-hearted people like my brother David, who want nothing more than to find the right person, settle down, and one day perhaps get married.
And there you have it. It’s quite frankly inconceivable to blemish a constitution with an equal protection clause (California take note) by changing it to say it only applies to some people, but the issue (even for straight people) is ultimately about the very simple, primal desire to find the right person, settle down and at least be able to get married. Iowa has the potential to provide a unique example to the United States in the gay marriage debate.