Saturday, April 4, 2009

Marriage Unconsitutional in Iowa?

Yet annother state ban on homosexual mariage was savagely ripped from the books by a State Supreme Court, this time in Iowa. Erick at RedState is annoyed, because this was the express will of the people's representatives in the legistature. He accuses these judges of jucicial activism, substituting personal prefferences for legitimate legal precedent. Ace of Spades disagrees, citing the rather vague Iowa State Constitution:

Article I, section 6 of the Iowa Constitution:All laws of a general natureshall
have auniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to anycitizen
orclass of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the sameterms
shallnot equally belong to all citizens.
The real question then becomes, how can any right completely belong to all citizens? Married people, Gay or Straight, are obvioulsy put in a “different class” than the rest of us and accorded certain priveliges and immunities. Then, is the *entire concept* of marriage unconstitutioonal in Iowa?

Your honor, I smirk in your general direction and rest my case.

Many libertarians, Glenn Reynolds included, think that may just be the case. I for one think that as diversifying culture, we can no longer expect such unifying traditions to be upheld by law. Personally, since there seems no longer to be a unified tradition, I think we shouldn’t bother with laws propping up those traditions. Still, I see where they’re coming from. “Equal protection” in any document is a ridiculously vague sentiment, and easy to bend to whatever will you happen to favor. Redstate commenter evanm highlights this disconcerting passage from the rulling:

The framers of the Iowa Constitution knew, as did the drafters ofthe United
States Constitution, that “times can blind us to certain truths andlater
generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in factserve
only to oppress,” and as our constitution “endures, persons in everygeneration
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 FederalConstitution that
Constitution endure and be interpreted by future generations). . .
Times can bind us to certain truths? Each thier own search for greater freedom and equality? Relativistic hogwash. What about freedom from something such as some atheists and anti-smokers claim? At some point the law may just have to throw it hands up and say "Deal with it!"Perhaps this is the kind of thing for an amendment anynow. Not only is that then permanently enshrined, no muck about legislator clauses can get in the way, and it’s completely F(r)ederalist!

As an aside, if there is enough non-assimilation into a unified "American" culture, there will be no United states, but a multi-cultural empire doomed to crumble like all its predecessors: Austria-Hungary, Poland-Lithuania, the Soviet Union, and all the colonial empires who had no loyalty for what was to them a "Foreign" government. So shall we become.

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