Iowa Marriage Defenders Push for Marriage Amendment, Decry Foul Play in Activist Same-Sex “Marriage”
By Kathleen Gilbert
DES MOINES, Iowa, April 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling Friday morning to overturn state law protecting marriage as between a man and a woman, true marriage defenders are urging Iowa lawmakers to allow citizens to vote on a marriage-protecting constitutional amendment. Homosexualist activists are also drawing ire for continuing to appeal to judges to subvert existing laws with activist rulings. In addition, pro-family advocates elsewhere are calling for a renewed effort to protect vulnerable marriage law in other states that may fall to Iowa’s fate.
All seven judges on Iowa’s Supreme court agreed that Iowa law, which includes a statute specifically defending the traditional definition of marriage, "violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution." (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09040301.html) Iowa joins Massachussetts and Connecticut as the third U.S. state to recognize same-sex "marriage."
Many pro-family advocates condemned the Iowa court for abusing judicial power in bypassing the legislative process to strike down state marriage law. In all three states that recognize same-sex "marriage," the change was enacted through an activist supreme court decision.
"Same-sex ‘marriage’ continues to be a movement driven by a liberal judicial elite determined to destroy not only the institution of marriage, but democracy as well," said Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins on Friday, who called the court’s dismissal of the long tradition of marriage in human history "bizarre and indefensible."
"We need to remember that the marriage amendment movement has been many times more successful than the same-sex ‘marriage’ movement," said Perkins, who noted that a majority of states have enshrined true marriage in their constitution through the democratic process.
"We hope the legislature will heed the powerful swell of statewide support for an amendment and reclaim from the High Court its rightful place as the state’s policy making body," Perkins added.
“The Iowa Supreme Court has become a proselytizing engine of radical social change," said Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law.
"Untying the knot that holds together traditional marriage will unravel the family, destabilize the culture, and harm children. The people of Iowa will follow the lead of California and move forward to overturn this decision by a constitutional amendment.” Liberty Counsel had filed an amicus brief in the marriage case in defense of traditional marriage.
Many decried the decision as unrepresentative of the majority of Iowans’ beliefs. a University of Iowa field poll from October of last year found that over 62 percent of Iowa voters oppose same-sex "marriage," and only 28.1 percent supported gay marriage, reports the Iowa Family Policy Center.
"The rest of Iowa is certainly is not joining in this short-lived celebration [among homosexualist lobbyists] because the renegade ruling of seven unelected judges does not represent the majority of Iowans," wrote Douglas Napier, Senior Legal Counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. "Iowa did not grow more accepting of same-sex ‘marriage,’ only seven judges did.
The homosexualist lobby, Napier alleged, knows "that the only way to have same-sex ‘marriage’ in Iowa is to keep the decision away from the people because they are quite aware of the fact that the majority of Iowans don’t want marriage redefined."
The four Catholic Bishops in Iowa issued a statement condemning the "unwarranted social engineering" effected by the court ruling as detrimental to families and children, and calling for a constitutional amendment to protect marriage.
"This decision rejects the wisdom of thousands of years of human history," read the statement signed by Archbishop Jerome Hanus of Dubuque, Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines. The bishops also issued a separate statement explaining their support for a marriage-protecting amendment. (To access the statements, go to: http://www.iowacatholicconference.org/)
Pro-family groups in Pennsylvania say that the Iowa ruling confirms their fear of similar action succeeding against marriage legislation in other states.
“One of the reasons thrown at us during the two attempts to get a ballot initiative before the people has been that ‘we have a Defense of Marriage Act.’ As we said during those times and reiterate today - a DOMA is not enough,” said Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania.
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the Boston-based advocacy group whose lawyers brought the crucial marriage cases to court in Massachusetts and Connecticut, have launched a campaign to legalize same-sex "marriage" in all six New England states by 2012.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Iowa Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex "Marriage"