It took no time at all for the religious fundies to go ape-shit over Iowa and Vermont’s decisions to allow Gay Marriage.
The Iowa situation is the result of a unanimous decision by the Iowa Supreme Court. It’s important to note that the Chief Justice is a very conservative Republican, but sometimes the law and the Constitution just override personal convictions, as it should be in a country of laws. Justice Cady wrote an outstanding decision, and you can download the PDF and read the complete decision from here.
While the fundies are decrying the destruction of our society, and even our democracy, Justice Cady reminds us eloquently:
It is also well established that courts must, under all circumstances, protect the supremacy of the constitution as a means of protecting our republican form of government and our freedoms. As was observed by Justice Robert H. Jackson decades ago in reference to the United States Constitution, the very purpose of limiting the power of the elected branches of government by constitutional provisions like the Equal Protection Clause is “to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.” W. Va. State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 638, 63 S. Ct. 1178, 1185, 87 L. Ed. 1628, 1638 (1943).
Cady goes on to remind us that, in a republic such as ours, the three equal branches of government are instituted to prevent the tyranny of the majority from circumventing the rights of the minority…something our krazy kristian kooks continuously forget:
Our responsibility, however, is to protect constitutional rights of individuals from legislative enactments that have denied those rights, even when the rights have not yet been broadly accepted, were at one time unimagined, or challenge a deeply ingrained practice or law viewed to be impervious to the passage of time. The framers of the Iowa Constitution knew, as did the drafters of the United States Constitution, that “times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress,” and as our constitution “endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom” and equality. See Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 578–79, 123 S. Ct. 2472, 2484, 156 L. Ed. 2d 508, 526 (2003) (acknowledging intent of framers of Federal Constitution that Constitution endure and be interpreted by future generations); Callender v. Skiles, 591 N.W.2d 182, 190 (Iowa 1999) (“Our constitution is not merely tied to tradition, but recognizes the changing nature of society.”).
So of course the fundies got right out with the “activist judges” rant.
Pastor Eric Schumacher of Northbrook Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, IA had this meltdown claiming that equal rights was a worse disaster for Iowa than a 500 year flood:
It is not hyperbole to say that this ruling has the potential to be the worst disaster to strike the state of Iowa. Flood waters destroy houses, ruin offices buildings and displace families. Yet, recovery happens. Houses are rebuilt. Businesses relocate. Families eventually find housing.
Legalized “homosexual marriage,” on the other hand, does far more pervasive and irrecoverable damage. Civilization itself is eroded as marriage, the central building block of culture and society, is redefined. Soon, our sons and daughters are confused about what it means to be male and female, as “homosexual marriage” gains both legal status and visibility in neighborhoods and the classroom…
…Flood waters erode the soil. “Gay marriage” erodes the soul. A flood impacts for a decade. “Same-sex marriage” destroys generations…
I guess all that methanol coming from Iowa affects hormone production or something…so everyone will suddenly be confused about whether they are male or female, just because gay people get equal treatment under the law. Who would have thought it.
Then some sand got thrown in the gearbox a few days later though when gay people in Vermont were given equal rights, not by judicial fiat, but by a democratic legislative process. It took the fundies an extra nearly to come up with some bullshit talking points to address that one. So now, their claim is that, somehow…democratically elected officials, acting in a democratic process, are bringing fascism and destroying democracy. Wow…that reasoning would cause any one’s head to explode.
So they quickly came with a “brilliant” ad campaign to try to scare the bejeebus out of the Christians (all the rest of us good amurikans). Continue reading »