Earlier last month seven Iowa supreme courts justices decided that marriage in Iowa should include same-sex, or homosexual couples, overturning the existing law which said it was between one man and one women. Last week the governor took that court opinion and effectively executed it into law, and there are no restrictions other than what was already available for one man and one woman. So same-sex people can get married here or come in from out of state to get married here. If they come from out of state they may not have their marriage observed in their own state under the Federal DOMA act and the states existing laws (30 have marriage amendments and 12 or so others have DOMA laws still in place). As a US citizen here in Iowa, there are several problems I have with this:
1. As an American Christian*, or one with a dual citizenship in Heaven and in the US, I see the most obvious problem here, the problem with legalizing something that God has called sin or immoral (for more info, see "Homosexuality: The Christian Perspective").
*(If you aren't a Christian I hope you learn more about how and why, and make a decision, click here or contact me, or see Why I am a Christian. Also, if you don't believe in the Bible and it's moral absolutes, I can understand how you can not see the Bible as authoritative. How can it be absolutely true? I plan to blog on this more for you soon but here is a links for your own study: Is the Bible Really True? If you have any questions or want to discuss this more please contact me. )
The courts are operating as a secular institution, and they don't have any moral framework other than their own interpretation of the existing constitution. They are interpreting the state Constitution obviously in light of the existing cultural mandates against discrimination and including sexuality in that. Not sure how they are using case law, but I wouldn't doubt that this is part of the reason for their view of right and wrong. They do not see themselves under the rule of the Creator and have fear of Him. If they did fear God they would want to make sure that God's morality was maintained and instituted. This is what traditional morality is about. They choose to be effectively atheistic or agnostic, and independent of faith. However this was not the situation with the courts traditionally. Coral Ridge Ministries published "10 Truths About Americas Christian Heritage" which shares how the move of the courts to the secular, was recent. "The Supreme Court declared we were a Christian people in 1892 and 1933.". By the way, the US Founding Fathers were mostly Christian, and wanted Christian principles to rule: "Historians have noted that “the Bible, perhaps even more than the Constitution, is our founding document” and the most cited source in Founding eradocuments.". Also "“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people” President John Adams voiced this view of the Founders, further stating, “ It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”" Here is an additional source on the Founding Fathers heritage and Christian views: Constitutional lawyer, and conservative radio host, Mark Levin speaks at the FRC. He sites how the idea of being under God, whom our life and liberty come from, is and was central to our countries foundation and preservation.
Also the court's ruling said they don't choose between religions, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't operate according to a Judeo-Christian moral view. They claimed that there is disagreement within the Christian church, so they used no religious arguments in their decision. It's true there are liberal Christian churches that endorse homosexuality as not being immoral, however, they do not interpret the Bible in the way that is consistent with how it was written, but in another way, as a revisionist and liberally in light of the current culture (with such a bias).
If we are created, then we are accountable to God (see May 3rd, Sermon from my church). If the government, or state, doesn't submit to God, then it will either abdicate its role and allow a moral void that will contribute the fall of our society with no absolute morality, or take the place of him and institute there own corrupt morality. This is a view held by the founders and is backed by the Bible. The whole point of government, according to the Apostle Peter, was to simply keep the maintain moral social order to separate right from wrong (see my blog post on Church and State - for Christians). Also if you don't believe you are created, then I encourage you to check out this: Case for a Creator and consider Intelligent Design with Ben Stein's movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed".
2. The IA Governor simply agreed with the court and chose to implement the court's opinion, which is not how things are to work. The legislative branch passes laws and the courts interpret the laws according to the Constitution. Because of the separation of powers, the courts don't rule over the others. The Governor should wait on implementing anything until the legislative branch can come up with new laws and also let the people vote on a marriage amendment (as there is such interest to protect the definition of marriage, as in 30 other states they have in defining marriage between a man and a woman). By the way, I understand the governor claims to be for traditional marriage like President Obama is, and promised to uphold it in 2008: “We’ll do whatever it takes to protect marriage between a man and a woman,”. Instead the governor refused to use his rights and responsibilities to the people, to hold implementing same-sex marriage acts until the legislative branch and/or people have a say. Also BTW, Mike Huckabee on his Sunday Huckabee show, said he contacted several top notch constitutional lawyer, in every case they said you don't just have do something because a court made a ruling, you still have the right and responsibility to always make sure the people and their elected representatives are in agreement with it. See this link to his show to the video from the show with Bob Vander Plaats, who is very involved and may run for IA Governor next year.
3. A side note, the Democratically dominated IA congress has blocked the peoples' call for the marriage amendment to come to the house floor recently, so the governor needs to be voted out of office next year to get the executive order to stay same-sex marriage soon. I would support Bob Vander Plaats for Governor to defeat the incumbent, Chet Culver-D, as Bob would execute such an executive stay. The soonest the marriage amendment can be brought up (according to the state Constitution) would be after two sessions where it was voted on in the congress (that equals two years from next year, or 2012). A Constitutional Congress can be enacted in 2010 as well but it's dangerous with a Democratic congress, considering what they might want to put in it, and I don't know how the process works.
4. The legislative branch can impeach judges and the Governor. I would support this, but don't expect it, yet still have asked for it from my representative. I found out about that from Alan Keyes who noted this in his Loyal To Liberty blog.
5. The court decision is not good according to this blogger. I'm no law expert but it makes sense, the courts decision injected sexuality, feelings, and emotions into the marriage contract which originally didn't originally exist, so they are out of bounds. What is the intent of the marriage contract? To allow people to be legally bound, observed by the state, which has nothing to do with sex in marriage.
6. What is marriage? It's something God instituted for man between man and woman. The courts can't redefine this in the Bible or the Bible believing church. They aren't imposing their views on the church now in IA, but they do muddy the waters with a secular / state understanding of marriage. This will lead to the public educational system teaching the moral relativism that comes from such a ruling. Teaching children that homosexuality is as valid and as moral as heterosexuality. This has been done without and despite parental consent in MA to even children in kindergarten (see this documented case).
7. What does it matter otherwise? It does matter as it affects other case law, and opens the door for legal battles in other states and on the federal level. On a personal note, I got married in Iowa but didn't mind much that Iowa was involved, I would not have cared but I can get marriage benefits on my taxes and they want to know for some reason. The benefits I have would extend to others and thus potential lower the benefits in the future to one man and one women married people.
By the way, some consider divorce more of a threat to marriage than this, like Rick Warren, and perhaps they are right, however, the moral issue here will not go away, and people must speak out against wrong morality with their voices and votes (as they have in 30 other states with constitutional Marriage Amendments).