The Iowa Supreme Court Recognizes that Human Rights are for All Humans

3 April, 2009

When the Massachusetts supreme court ruled, a few years ago, that human rights apply to all humans (including homosexuals).  Of course, the religious right freaked.  Royally.  And, of course, they were right.  Massachusetts, today, is a hotbed of man-on-dog, man-on-man, evangelical minister-on-gay male prostitute (oh, wait, that was ‘conservative’ Colorado).  Well, not really.  But at least True American(TM) conservatives can console themselves that it happened in evil librul Massachusetts.  And Connecticut.

Until now  (from MSNBC):

The Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage Friday in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third state — and first in the nation’s heartland — to allow same-sex couples to wed.

So, that hotbed of liberalism, Iowa, has decided that human rights are just that:  human rights.  This shows just how mainstream this idea has become in the United States.  The jurists of the ISC are not wild eyed liberals out to force an agenda.  They are not ‘judicial activists’ (as near as I can make out, the only judicial activists are right-wingers).  They are normal (if very well-educated) Americans who understand the workings of constitutional law.

And, of course, the religious right freaks out (and in other news, Republican congresscritters want to cut taxes for the rich, and Rush Limbaugh is a big fat ass)  (from USA Today):

Iowa’s four Roman Catholic bishops released a joint statement of strong disagreement, saying the ruling

… rejects the wisdom of thousands of years of human history. It implements a novel understanding of marriage, which will grievously harm families and children.

The bishops call the decision an “unwarranted social engineering” and an attack on “the good that marriage offers to society.” And they call for everyone in Iowa to push for a constitutional amendment on marriage.

Baptist Press, published by the Southern Baptist Convention, reports conservative evangelicals deplore the ruling.

Jimmy Barrentine, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist Convention of Iowa, says:

As a Christian, it is our joyful duty to love all people and to mistreat not, but we are not guided by personal opinion in matters such as this. I am opposed to this decision. We are instructed by Scripture, which forthrightly condemns homosexual behavior.

Just once, I would love to hear a right-wing religious Christianist asshat argue for, or against, anything in our secular democracy without using ‘scripture.’  Ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime, but I would love to see it.  Shit.  It has happened:

Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, tells BP:

This means, by force of law, every schoolchild in Iowa will be taught that homosexuality is equal to heterosexual behavior.

The children!  Won’t someone think about the children?

So fucking what?  If school children are taught that you cannot pick and choose who is entitled to human rights sounds like a good idea.  You cannot, in a secular democracy (secular means that our laws are not based on religious religious myths, but rather civil law!), decide that certain persons are not eligible for human rights based on religious writings! 

Bravo to the Supreme Court of Iowa.  Thank you for recognizing that human rights are for all humans.  Including the right to marry.



  1. Iowa?! Praise Chutulu! The sky is indeed falling and the end is near!

  2. As a Christian, it is our joyful duty to love all people and to mistreat not, but…

    It’s a toss up which thing up there is the most amusing, that loving people is a duty rather than an actual heartfelt desire, or the “but”, for you simply can’t follow “love all people” with “but…”. Either you do or you don’t, but of course, if you don’t, and it’s all some fucking duty that you perform because you think your god commands it, then yeah, I can see how you could oppose equal rights. Anything he says, right?

    Anyway, I still can’t get over that it’s Iowa. That’s just crazy. Last I checked, Iowa was still well within Jesusland.

  3. They’ll (the xtian right) will now probably shove through an amendment to the constitution there to make it illegal.

  4. From what I’ve read, the soonest it would probably come to a constitutional amendment vote would be 2012 – so that would be after 3 whole years of gay marriage w/o the end of the world arriving. Hopefully by then, a lot more states will have come to their senses, maybe even by then the US Supreme Court will deign to rule that all humans really are equal.

  5. EBC: If by ‘end’ you mean a glimmer of hope that maybe the beginning of the end of theocratic interferrence in a secular democracy, you may be right.

    Philly: Thanks. I had missed the significance of the ‘but.’ “I’m not racist, but . . . .” “I’m not a bigot, but . . . .” “I’m not against immigrants, but . . . .” Has any sentence begun in that manner ever come out good?

    I also find it interesting the claim that Christians cannot be guided by their own opinions — only what is in the Bible counts. I thought that the Protestant reformation was about a personal relationship with god(s), not a relationship guided by a priest. All personal relationships are guided by our own opinions, so suck down that lobster, wear that linen-blend and work on the Sabbath. But ya still gotta hate the gays.

    Poodles: They arlready are. As Craig points out.

    Craig: So, do you think that the citizens of Iowa will destroy three years of happiness for some citizens just to show how super-Christian they are? I hope SCOTUS does step in on this one. Wouldn’t it be funny as hell to listen to the radical right complain about the liberal judicial activism of, say, Alito or Roberts?

  6. Kudos to Iowa! I want to note that Iowa may not be nearly as conservative as its reputation suggests.

    Re: recent presidential elections in Iowa:
    In 2000, Bush won Iowa by 7,000 votes if one counted only the ballots cast on Election Day. But once the absentees were tallied, Gore won the state by 4,144, or three-tenths of one percent.;

    In 2004, Bush only got 10,000 more votes than Kerry.

    in 2008, Obama beat McCain by 146,561 votes in Iowa.

    Iowans are not wingnuts. They may be conservative-leaning moderates, overall, but they are not rabid right-wingers, by a long shot.

  7. Oh, dammit. (((Billy))) – could you please fix that dangling tag at the end of the 2000 election results? Is that the Internet version of a hanging chad?

  8. Chappie: Iowa (along with Wisconsin and Minnesota) are wonderfully progressive states (not real liberal, but definately progressive). I guess my meaning above was the shock that right wingers must feel at this happening in a ‘heartland’ state, rather than a New England or West coast state. I had (silly me (short memory (OPD))) forgotten that McCain lost Iowa.

  9. America’s perversion has reached the heartland. I, like other real Americans, like other religious men and women putting our nation before ourselves, had hoped that the dismantling of legalized perversion in California, and the impending court cases in both New England states, would have a positive impact on our economy.

    Iowa’s decision, reached by a radically liberal court, to welcome perverts into the sanctity of marriage, puts our future as a nation at risk. Other nations have allowed perversity — Greece, Rome, the Ottomans, India — and had their empires disappear, their right to self-government taken away by nations following the word of God, and their economy reduced to a colonial dependency. This is the will of God.

    Now we, as a nation, have a choice. Do we continue down the road, granting human rights to inhuman perverts? Allowing serial adulterers to marry? Forcing the pervert agenda into our schools? Or do we embrace the loving God, embrace His agenda for righteousness, embrace His love for all humans who follow His Holy Word? Which will it be America?

    You do realize, of course, that the perverts Iowa will now allow to marry have been living in sin? They are sodomites, perverts, adulterers. Their perverted actions have taken place outside marriage. Marriage can only be, and has always been, between a man and a woman. How can a court then overrule the people and God, and sactify their perversions? It cannot, lest the state fall to the forces of Satan.

    Bill, you write of this often. What is your fascination with perversion? Do you like to watch? You claim to be married, with children. Are you actually one of the God dammed perverts? Do you realize you are risking your immortal soul trying to give human rights to criminals? Criminals who flout adultery and sodomy laws? Criminals who flout God’s law?

    I weep for my America. Our financial and economic future is at stake. Our future as an independent country is at stake. As we grant the right of perversity to secular and religious criminals, God will punish us all.

    My America is disappearing because of perverts and their enablers. Pity is wasted upon us. God forgive us, though we know what we do.

  10. Reggie: Wait. Let me understand this. We don’t allow people who love each other to marry. Then, when they live together and, possibly, have sex with each other, you claim that, since they lived in sin, they cannot get married? Do you even read what you write? Of course they were ‘living in sin’ (by your narrow-minded, possibly homophobic, standards), but that is because the state had an unconstitutional law saying they couldn’t get married. Look up the definition of a catch-22.

    Yes, I have, over the past year, written about human rights for GLBT citizens many times. I write about it because, if a bigoted group using the Bible as an instruction manual can deny human rights to one group of citizens, they can deny human rights to other groups — such as atheists. This is not a gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender issue. This is a human rights issue.

    And where in the name of pluperfect hell did you ever come up with this theory that the economy is linked to gay sex and gay marriage?

  11. America used to have a legal tradition harking back to the earliest Saxon kingdoms of Wessex and Sussex which actually punished illegal and immoral behavior. If a sodomite commits adultery with another man, the perverts would be legally put to death. We have advanced past the death part but now the liberal activist judges want to actually reward the criminally perverted and reward them with a privilige they have never had — marriage. This is logic, not a catch-22.

    Human rights are fine, but must remain with humans. A human follows the rules, animals do not. Humans create life, animals do not. Humans live in a society, animals do not. Applying human rights to animals does not work as they do not have the moral understanding to become one with society and subsume themselves within the greater good as defined by God. Perverts are those who pervert natural law and Biblical law in unnatural ways in order to be unnatural. So yes, I would say that you an atheist are perverting the laws of the universe and as such are a pervert who has as much understanding of society and law and God as a dog.

    And I will not do your research for you as you claim to be a historian so the plethora of many history books out there which support this claim are too many to mention and easy to find. Here’s a hint: God will help you if you ask Him.

  12. Reginald: No one is talking about rewarding anyone with the human right of marriage. It is a human right. And gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual citizens are human. They are not animals. Referring to any part of humanity as animals, or less than human, or subhuman, is elimiationist rhetoric which, by removing humanity from a segment of the population, can lead to hate crimes or, as has happened, genocide. Capisce?

    And for the last? You made the claim. You back it up.

  13. Oh well, at least ol’ Reggie is honest in his bigotry. After the honeyed insults I’ve seen towards women in the church I used to belong to before I became an atheist, I sort of prefer honesty.

    But you know, last I heard, the Roman Empire was about 700 years old before it collapsed, and so far as I know, its fall had more to do with the fact that not a single official in government knew if he’d see the next day.

    Besides, if rampant abuse of power and child rape didn’t bring down the Catholic Church (or, indeed, much of Protestantism), then I don’t see how a few harmless queers marrying is going to bring down America.

  14. EBC: You are assuming that logic and fact have any place in Reginald’s worldview. He tends to show up when I post about human rights for gays humans. Why? Elifino.

  15. Why the fuck do people like him post that shit on blogs like this? I just don’t get it. None of us is going to be swayed by his disgusting bigotry and slander. Most of are atheists for fuck’s sake. We don’t care what he thinks his imaginary god wants, especially since all his opinions seem to be informed (I use the word loosely) by cherry-picking from a work of fiction written over thousands of years by superstitious Bronze-age nomads.

    Sorry, he just made me mad. I really get tired of being called a pervert and an animal just because I want my human rights.

  16. Craig: There are times I regret my decision to allow any and all commenters. As for why he does it? My guess (and this is a wild-ass one) is that, by trying to bring us to god(s), he is fulfilling his witnessing requirement. We are another ticket punch on the way to an imaginary after life. Ain’t that sweet?

  17. You are a better person than I am (((Billy))), I banned Reg Golb from my blog because he said atheists were ok with baby killing. If someone came to my blog and said my brother was an animal, they would be banned and all comments deleted.

    I bet IRL my dogs are better “people” than this Reginald douche.

  18. First Reg, you have to establish that homosexuality is a perversion. Next, should you accomplish task #1, you have to explain why that warrants ignoring the Constitution and denying equal rights to your fellow Americans. That would usually entail showing harmful consequences which would result from granting equal rights, and there you’re stuck.

    All you have is repeated assertions that it’s wrong and immoral. Sorry pal, that’s insufficient. Also insufficient is citing your religious text. Also, your so-called historical evidence supporting your claims are evidence of only one thing, that anti-gay sentiment has existed before today. Again, that doesn’t warrant denial of equal rights, for “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”. In other words, just because you don’t like it isn’t enough of a reason.

    Poodles: I’m sadly disappointed by your action, which I find no different than the UN resolution objecting to religious criticism. Free speech means all speech, not just the speech you care for and fuck the speech you don’t. I would never go to a blog where someone would not be permitted to speak because the host didn’t care for the speech, and I would hope others wouldn’t, either.

  19. Poodles: It has nothing to do with being a better person. I just realize that, although I own what I write, I neither have, nor want, ownership of what others write.

    Philly: At least he is consistent.

    I currently have two IP adresses on my intercept list: one is a persistent blogwhore. I get four or five messages saying “Hey, dude, I love your blog,” with a different blog address (thought the same IP address) every day. I also have an intercept in for the asshat from Australia who discovered the copy/paste function. He hasn’t been back. I haven’t actually banned anyone, and the intercepts in place are for annoying behaviour rather than what was actually written.

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