Iowa impresses me

With a tip o’ the hat to PZ Myers, I just learned from Pharyngula that Iowa is allowing same-gendered marriages, that is, extending civil rights equality to all regardless of sexual orientation. Specifically, the Iowa Supreme Court has outlawed bans on same sex marriage as unconstitutional. From the source link:

“The decision strikes the language from Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman. It further directs that the remaining statutory language be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage,” the statement on the court’s Web site says.

The Iowa Supreme Court said it has the responsibility to determine if a law enacted by the legislative branch and enforced by the executive branch violates the Iowa Constitution. “The court reaffirmed that 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,” the court said.

So, in an unexpected twist, Iowa has beaten my adopted state of California in terms of fair and progressive thinking, that protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Wow. Just wow. Again, I am totally embarrassed for my state. But congratulations to Iowa.

In spite of our tar pit of financial and environmental problems, California certainly has a lot going for it. Due to the smog problems, we are fighting to lead the way in reducing vehicle emissions. We helped Obama into the White House (More on that later. A mixed blessing, but still, I believe better than the alternative.). We are striving to make inroads into alternative and cleaner energies (check out that link if you are in California). We have a pretty good state university system. We are known for being a socially progressive state, at least in the more populated coastal areas of L.A. and San Francisco. But in an anti-progressive bigoted move (and under a media blitz from mainly religious institutions), California passed Proposition 8, effectively stripping away the rights of a certain segment of the population from getting married. Maybe someday California will join Iowa and put both feet in the 21st century.

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