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Published:April 3rd, 2009 13:57 EST
Iowa Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

Iowa Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

By Robert Paul Reyes

Iowa is smack dab in the middle of America`s heartland; the small state is eons away from the cultural and ethnic diversity of the Left coast and East coast. Iowa conjures up images of corn-fed milk drinking families enjoying picnics, going to church, and watching Fox News in their living rooms.

Americans look to California, New York and Florida for new cultural trends and innovations. But Iowa has become the first state in the Midwest to approve same-sex marriage, it joins the liberal bastions of Massachusetts and Connecticut as the only three states where same-sex marriage is legal.

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously decided that a 1998 law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

The decision was the culmination of a four-year legal battle that began in the lower courts. The Supreme Court said same-sex marriages could begin in Iowa in as soon as 21 days.

`The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,` the justices said in a summary of their decision."

Monica Davey and Liz Robbins/The New York Times

If same-sex marriage is now legal in the conservative Mecca of Iowa, every other state in the union should follow suit. As a native Californian my eyes are on the Golden State where the California Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments on the ballot initiative passed by voters last November that outlawed same-sex marriage.

It`s an outrage that same-sex marriage is illegal in the forward-thinking and progressive state of California. Californians (gay and straight) who treasure human rights must not allow this injustice to stand.

The California Supreme Court should follow the sterling example of the Iowa Supreme Court. If gay marriage is legal is the large liberal state of California, and the small conservative state of Iowa I believe it will lead to a chain reaction. Within a few years same-sex marriage will be legal in every state.