Friday, August 31, 2007

First gay marriage in Iowa...

Story I read from the wires from Fox News, First gay couple legally married in Iowa after judge rules state ban unconstitutional some key points from the article:

On Thursday, Polk County Judge Robert Hanson ruled that Iowa's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed marriage only between a man and a woman, violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of six gay couples who had sued.

The ruling cleared the way for gay couples across the state to apply for marriage licenses in Polk County, and more than a dozen had by Friday morning.

County attorney John Sarcone promised a quick appeal, and he immediately asked Hanson for a stay that would prevent gays and lesbians from getting marriage licenses until the appeal was resolved. A hearing on the stay request is likely next week, said Camilla Taylor, an attorney with Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization.

In the meantime, the applications began rolling in.

The marriage license approval process normally takes three business days, but couples can pay a $5 fee and get a judge to sign a waiver allowing them to skip the waiting period.

My personal opinion is that marriage is normally a religious service, that the state should have no involvement in marriage at all. Even though I clearly understand from a historical standpoint the word "marriage" has been used to define a partnership that without the religious ceremonial aspect is for all practical purposes a civil marriage, which is what a true civil union should be as opposed to the way it's been diluted to be something less than a civil marriage. Everyone, regardless of their sex should have the civil union option from a state basis and if they want the religious marriage ceremony? That should be up to them. The legal protection currently offered under "marriage" should be the same offered to those who apply to a state for a civil union. It would solve the whole problem...which is why it will most likely never happen.

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