I grew up in Missouri. But an entire branch of my family – my Ginsberg cousins – live in Iowa. This is a picture taken at an Alport family reunion in 2006 featuring many of my Iowa clan. Last year Iowa led the nation on the great journey that culminated in the election President Barack Obama. Today, the Iowa Supreme Court moved the nation one step closer to the inevitable recognition that gay and lesbian people deserve the same rights as all others in this country. Laws banning gays and lesbians from anything are wrong. In Iowa. In Missouri. In New York. And everywhere else. Below are the words of the decision, unanimously declared by the members of the Iowa Supreme Court.
We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law. Faithfulness to that duty requires us to hold Iowa’s marriage statute, Iowa Code section 595.2, violates the Iowa Constitution. To decide otherwise would be an abdication of our constitutional duty. If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded. Iowa Code section 595.2 denies gay and lesbian people the equal protection of the law promised by the Iowa Constitution.