Iowa Now Has Gay Marriage

Iowa Now Has Gay Marriage April 3, 2009

As a cultural observer, I am quite dismayed at the ruling in Iowa.  Going through the ruling though, there are parts that are difficult to disagree with from a cultural perspective.

[Plaintiffs] also submitted evidence to show that most scientific research has repudiated the commonly assumed notion that children need opposite-sex parents or biological parents to grow into well-adjusted adults.

Take this beyond gay marriage.  Society really does no longer believe in a special and sacred bond and trust between a child and their biological mother and father.  Thank you adoption industry.  Thank you divorce industry.

Therefore, with respect to the subject and purposes of Iowa’s marriage laws, we find that the plaintiffs are similarly situated compared to heterosexual persons.  Plaintiffs are in committed and loving relationships, many raising families, just like heterosexual couples.  Moreover, official recognition of their status provides an institutional basis for defining their fundamental relational rights and responsibilities, just as it does for heterosexual couples.  Society benefits, for example, from providing same sex couples a stable framework within which to raise their children and the power to make health care and end-of-life decisions for loved ones, just as it does when that framework is provided for opposite-sex couples.

 For those keeping score at home, marriage is an honorific given by one person to another noting their love and commitment.  Children are not intrinsic to a particular family but commodities that are acquired through procreation, divorce, or adoption.

Oh, and as a note to same sex couples, Iowa does have common law marriage, so you may already be married, even if you didn’t think you would be.

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  • I wonder why you called out the divorce and adoption industry (which, by the way, what adoption industry are you talking about?) and not the abortion and contraception industries, which are far more powerful and pervasive as well as having a deeper role in disconnecting reproduction and children from true concepts of family and sexuality.

    Having grown up in a single-parent household, I can say that the notion that a single sex is equally equipped to raise a child as a heterosexual couple is utter bunk. Both sexes have something unique and wonderful to give and it is a travesty that we have lost that understanding today.

  • digbydolben

    Michael Denton, I know of very few “gay” couples raising children (and I actually DO know two) who would dispute with you that a “normal” heterosexual couple bonded in matrimony wouldn’t make the optimal family unit for adopted children.

    The fact is, however, that YOU and your ilk among the Catholic Right would, for the sake of your cruel ideological “purity,” seek to take away from the “difficult” adoptees what is frequently their only chance for ANY kind of supportive family.

    Iowa made the right decision and Vermont will join her shortly.

  • M.Z.

    Michael Denton,

    Neither contraception nor abortion seek to trivialize the unique relationship between parent and child. Before anyone gets too excited, the preceding sentence has a narrow scope. Both contraception and abortion have their problems. That abortion is kept within the family hardly makes it virtuous.

    It is not merely that both sexes have something to offer. If you wish to pursue that, please explain how polygamy is something that is (or is not) compatible with the good health of children, something I would hope you would believe.

  • David L. Gamaliel

    Either same gendered couples are able to raise well-adjusted children or they aren’t. If children, in fact, are suffering, society should step in. If they aren’t suffering, and in fact, are prospering, society just might need to reconsider its prejudices. You take a shot at the adoption and divorce “industries,” as the putative source of the evidence that same sex couples can be effective parents, but you don’t offer any particularly persuasive evidence of your own that they are wrong. So, really, what was your point?

    Contrary to your implication otherwise, the existence of same-gendered-parent families has little to do with the value or integrity of marriage and family life for couples in a heterosexual, sacramental marriage. Neither arrangement lessens or cheapens the others’ form of family. Just because people live a different life than you, you don’t have to adopt an aggressive or defensive posture.

    By the way, the children raised in households with committed gay and lesbian parents are not commodities — they remain human beings (you really got dodgy on that one).

  • David Nickol

    MZ,

    If there is reliable evidence that the children raised by adoptive parents and same-sex parents grow up to be just as well-adjusted as the children of married, biological parents, isn’t that a good thing? There are hundreds of thousands of children in foster care waiting to be adopted. And if you oppose abortion, how do you convince a woman to carry an unwanted child to term if you don’t offer her the option of giving the baby up for adoption.

    My niece and her husband have adopted twins, whom they don’t regard as “commodities,” and I don’t feel the “adoption industry” should be denigrated.

    Would you prefer that adopted children and children of same-sex marriages grow up emotionally crippled so that you could argue more persuasively for your personal vision of marriage?

    Also, during what period in history was the ideal marriage? When Jesus “raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament,” it was an economic arrangement between the fathers of the husband and wife.

  • Mike J.

    M.Z. – I disagree with you when you say that contraception and abortion don’t trivialize the unique relationship between parent and child. The very foundation of the relationship between the parents and the child is the sexual act. Contraception seeks to make that child “optional” with the sexual act by separating the unitive and procreative aspects of sex. Abortion only exacerbates the situation by providing “option” even after the fact.

    I would say that the commodification of children begins with the contraceptive mentality.

    Regards,
    Mike J.

  • jh

    The Opinion is horrid

    By the way did anyone catch this part:

    “[E]qual protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation…. Our responsibility, however, is to protect constitutional rights of individuals from legislative enactments that have denied those rights, even when the rights have not yet been broadly accepted, were at one time unimagined, or challenge a deeply ingrained practice or law viewed to be impervious to the passage of time.”

    Good Grief. The flip side of that is what happens when a new generation decides you don’t have any rights

    I must say I have argued with a bunch of poltical naive Libertarians today about this that think this is a great Opinion. Live and let Live as it were. The problem is the sides that advocated gay marriage is not going to follow that motto.

    The court in a section said sex couples have the right to “the personal and public affirmation that accompanies marriage”

    Affirmation!!!! and make no doubt that shall be a new regime of laws that forward this public affirmation of the homosexual lifgestyle and thus diminish the rights of those that oppose it.

    THis dark side of rights that Lincoln so well understood (and that the gay lobby also understands)seems to fly over peoples heads.

    The end goal here is for all practical purposes is to make people that believe in the traditioanl understanding of Sexuality and marriage to be sanctioned like a person in the KKK would be.

  • jh

    I should point out that just because the Court says their is evidence that children of Homosexual couples on average are just fine does not make it so

    I think we saw how the Court treated scientific evidence in Roe and still does to this day

  • M.Z.

    Mr. Gamaliel,

    Can we not have a continuum? If the suicide rate of teens since the divorce explosion is doubled but over 80% of the kids manage not to kill themselves (see here for example http://www.thesecondwindfund.org/aboutsuicide.html ), do we say that’s evidence of well adjusted children or that this is evidence of a problem? The psychology community has been doing wonders dismissing the evils of divorce; it is little wonder they are quick to dismiss the effects of gay marriage, which by the way more often than not also involving children from divorced parents. We certainly don’t look at pollution this way: “are there still fish in the creek? Oh gosh, those chemicals going in the river must not be bad.”

  • ron chandonia

    The argument that children raised in same-sex relationships are as well adjusted as children from (what were once considered) normal two-parent households ranks right in there with the longstanding argument that divorce does children no harm. The “evidence” was invariably tailored and skewed so that the politically correct conclusion could be reached. Only recently have the victims of this allegedly scientific finding spoken up with such force that it is again allowable to question the conclusion in mainstream publications.

    It looks as though the children caught in this latest PC madness will also have to wait a while to get a hearing. But Catholics should not be among those who consider that outcome perfectly fine; our social teaching makes it very clear that heterosexual marriage is the only authentic form of the family as well as the necessary basis for a just social order.

  • David L. Gamaliel

    Thanks for your response, M.Z.

    The heart of what I perceive as necessary, in the evaluation of same-gendered-parenting households, needs to be based on facts, not resorting to the anecdotal nor unnecessarily referential to other problems.

    I grant you that divorce is VERY hard on children. Staying with some spouses is also VERY hard on children, and sometimes worse than the pain of divorce. The essential question of same-gendered-parenting is something else, though.

    What happens when good hearted professionals take an objective (to the best of their ability, anyway) look at children in such households? My understanding is they grow up just fine, doing just as well (and just as poorly) in school, no more inclined to being a bully or allowing themselves to be bullied, no more inclined to same gendered orientation, no more inclined to acting out, no more sickly, than children in well established, committed heterosexually married households. I’m sorry that I am unable to find an adequate reference to the study that I read in this regard. Do you, M.Z., have access to a study that says otherwise?

  • jh

    At the very least the ante is being upped.

    We really really need to get the Constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act settled by the Supreme Court so we know where we stand. Of course we need to exert pressure on the current administration to not try to repeal that act.

    If the Supreme Court finds it unconst at least while there is still time we can get an Federal Amendment through perhaps.

  • MZ:

    I strongly disagree that contraception does not seek to trivialize the relationship between parent and child.

    I wrote a longer post on it here:http://forthegreaterglory.blogspot.com/2009/04/killing-children-no-that-doesnt-de.html

    But I really have no idea how you can hold that the contraceptive mentality of dealing with children as a burden/problem to be solved rather than a natural gift of God has no affect on the parent/child dynamic in American culture. Especially considering contraception’s tremendous role in the divorce rates and your acknowledgment of divorce as a cause of Iowa’s current mess.

    Moreover, I was not suggesting the complementarity of the sexes as the only reason for one man, one woman but it is certainly a sufficient reason to condemn Iowa’s move. I would attack Polygamy with different arguments, though as JPII would, rooted in the unique nature of human sexuality.

  • About time. Only a big deal in this insane country. Well, not in counties characterized by achievements other than NASCAR. The nicer an area, the more open people are to equality. It’s no coincidence that San Francisco, Marin, San Jose etc. counties are for gay marriage and undesirable counties like Fresno are against it. The old, theocrats and the uneducated, that’s the mainstay of opposition to equality. In a couple of decades it won’t be an issue anymore except maybe for a few states at the bottom of the scholastic achievement scale.

    “Defense of Marriage Act”. How bloody insecure are right-wingers ? Who’s attacking your marriage ? Worse is the term “protecting the sanctity of marriage” – from the “unholy” gay people, apparently.

  • M.Z.

    Gerald,

    There are only a handful of countries in the world that recognize gay marriage. I would speculate more countries prosecute homosexual acts than allow same-sex marriage.

  • TeutonicTim

    Correction: Society still does believe in a special and sacred bond and trust between a child and their biological mother and father.

    It’s the judges that live without fear of losing their power that overreach and overrule the will of the people. Each and every one of the areas that gay “marriage” is allowed has been pushed over the people by judges.

  • jh

    Gerald the USA gove the world Star Wars that must count for something 🙂

    Gerald I think you are missing the point when you pose the question Who’s attacking your marriage ?

    You might as well ask why my marriage is threatened because two brothers can marry or a brother or a sister. For that matter it is about relevant as asking how does the Patriot Act affect your marriage

    The key here is gay marriage is the key for gay adovcates in that it opens up the box for all sort of protections and indeed sanctions for those that don’t agree with that lifestyle

    The famous Loving Case is often mentioned in this debate That is the case where the Supreme Court threw out a law that forbid interracial marriages Were people hurt or had their “rights” affected by that. In other words how are you hurt by a black woman marrying a white man.

    Well it appears people were “hurt” in a certain sense because laws to protect that fundamental right were enacted and conduct that would infirnge on that right even by private parties such as housing discrimination were enacted. So yes people were affected as the law taught a moral point in a very drastic way

    LEt me give you an example. If gay marriage is a fundamental right no doubt we are heading then toward gays being in a suspect class and a whole new era of legislation.

    Let us say you want to hrie this smart guy for Bank President. THe problem is that he the leader of the local branch of the KKK. Now any business would be a fool to hire him because one can imagine the lawsuits when black employees or mixed race employees did not get promoted for whatever reason

    We shall see a similar problem in lawsuits under the color of Federal law where there are supervisors that for instance adhere to the traditional teaching on Sexuality and marraige. Savy companies will cut the risk of litigation down by lets say not hiring people who are overly religious. This will solve the problem of people saying the deck was stacked against them from the start if they are gay

    One can ust imagine the possibilites as to hostile work environemnt cases as a Catholic talks about his oppostion to the gay lifestyle. A lifestyle that has now been give the respectability the highest courts in the land

    At some point there has been a unoffical Christain exclusion act from many business and occupations

    That is the point that so many are missing

  • jh

    Gerald the USA gave the world Star Wars that must count for something 🙂

    Gerald I think you are missing the point when you pose the question Who’s attacking your marriage ?

    You might as well ask why my marriage is threatened because two brothers can marry or a brother or a sister. For that matter it is about relevant as asking how does the Patriot Act affect your marriage

    The key here is gay marriage is the key for gay adovcates in that it opens up the box for all sort of protections and indeed sanctions for those that don’t agree with that lifestyle

    The famous Loving Case is often mentioned in this debate That is the case where the Supreme Court threw out a law that forbid interracial marriages Were people hurt or had their “rights” affected by that. In other words how are you hurt by a black woman marrying a white man.

    Well it appears people were “hurt” in a certain sense because laws to protect that fundamental right were enacted and conduct that would infirnge on that right even by private parties such as housing discrimination were enacted. So yes people were affected as the law taught a moral point in a very drastic way

    LEt me give you an example. If gay marriage is a fundamental right no doubt we are heading then toward gays being in a suspect class and a whole new era of legislation.

    Let us say you want to hrie this smart guy for Bank President. THe problem is that he the leader of the local branch of the KKK. Now any business would be a fool to hire him because one can imagine the lawsuits when black employees or mixed race employees did not get promoted for whatever reason

    We shall see a similar problem in lawsuits under the color of Federal law where there are supervisors that for instance adhere to the traditional teaching on Sexuality and marraige. Savy companies will cut the risk of litigation down by lets say not hiring people who are overly religious. This will solve the problem of people saying the deck was stacked against them from the start if they are gay

    One can ust imagine the possibilites as to hostile work environemnt cases as a Catholic talks about his oppostion to the gay lifestyle. A lifestyle that has now been give the respectability the highest courts in the land

    At some point there has been a unoffical Christain exclusion act from many business and occupations

    That is the point that so many are missing

  • SegoLily

    Marriage, between one man and one woman, is the ideal for children because God created man and woman for the purpose of rearing young humans. Each adds something profound and unique to parenthood. Society ought to uphold what is best for its young. The Catholic Church prohibits same sex partners adopting because it will not deem any human orphan less worthy of of a mom and a dad, the ideal. It’s unfortunate and a sin of society that orphans of color and handicapped orphans do not have an equal shot at having a mom and a dad. There’s something intrinsically unnatural about having two mothers or two fathers. The Church promotes natural law, a good. Society is in peril, in the long view, if it promotes homosexual marriage.

  • “The Catholic Church prohibits same sex partners adopting because it will not deem any human orphan less worthy of of a mom and a dad, the ideal.”

    Ah, the ideal. Welcome to reality. Of course a group home is much more preferable than having -gasp- parents of the same sex. I guess single moms better hand over their kids, too. Ask someone who actually knows the matter first hand, like my wife, how adoption and foster care works, and who gay people tend to adopt – the least wanted children. Go adopt children in “danger” of being adopted by gays.

    Ah yes, Mildred Loving, she spoke out in favor of marriage for gay people.

    Gay marriage, THAT’s what imperils society. I thought it was war, poverty, greed….but maybe I am wrong – Maybe there’s a group of gay bandidos. They travel from village to dell. And as night falls, they travel to that cul-de-sac, where only one house stands. And in the window, you see a family, just setting down to their evening meal. And these queers… these queers… don their black hoods, and matching pumps, very tasteful. Sneak up to the house ever so slightly, open the door, and start [having sex].
    AND ANOTHER AMERICAN FAMILY… IS DESTROYED!
    (Lewis Black)

  • Spirit of Vatican II

    I always thought adoption was a meritorious activity approved by the Catholic Church. I am amazed at what I am reading here.

    Gays now increasingly have the option of monogamy open to them. This is a daunting moral challenge for many gays brought up under the old regime of closetedness and promiscuity.

  • Spirit of Vatican II

    jh, you are right that the Iowa decision is futuristic — but as this video says, the Iowa court has often been up to more than 90 years ahead of the USA as a whole in its progressive human rights legislation: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/04/more-on-iowa.html

  • I would say that the commodification of children begins with the contraceptive mentality.

    Absurd. I know plenty of Catholics (and Protestants) using natural family planning who seem to think of their children as commodities.

  • jh

    Gerald there are many things that imperil American society. I don’t think there is one “that”

    However just listing other problems does not answer the question if gay marraige is a “right” or that this new innovation has problems with it

    Where does this right of a “public affirmation” as the Court puts it of the rightness of the gay life come from.

  • digbydolben

    NOTHING “imperils American society” more than the “conservative” stereotype that Gerald rightfully lampoons above, and which CATHOLICS are upholding in their crusade against equal human rights for all.

    In case so many of you missed it, the picture that Gerald is drawing above is DIRECTLY analagous to Nazi propoganda against the Jews–propoganda that was implicitly affirmed by half the Jew-hating Roman Catholic population of Germany.

    America and her fair-minded judges–like this “CONSERVATIVE” judge in Iowa–are not about to fall for these worn-out, hate-filled shibboleths being pedaled by Catholics, among others.

  • jh

    Rod Dreher as usual has some good post on this . Mr Linker over at TNR seems to be going after poor Rod on this subject

    He links this great article by a libertarian on this whole subject.

    http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005244.html

  • David Nickol

    The Catholic Church prohibits same sex partners adopting because it will not deem any human orphan less worthy of of a mom and a dad, the ideal.

    SegoLily,

    Does the Catholic Church prohibit single-parent adoption? If it prohibits adoption by same-sex couples for the reason you state, then it must prohibit single-parent adoption.

  • I never heard that the Church forbids same sex couples from adopting. The number of new Catholic doctrines seems to increase by leaps and bounds every day!

    In Japan, a gay man can adopt another man — but I have never heard of this in practice. Now the Japanese are legislating that same sex marriage contracted abroad will be recognized in Japan (but no talk of provision for same sex marriages at home).

    The Church teaches that there is a “natural right to marriage” (Pius XI); same sex couples could build an argument on that.

  • “Society really does no longer believe in a special and sacred bond and trust between a child and their biological mother and father. Thank you adoption industry.”

    ?

    How dare orphans not have a biological bond to their adoptive parents ! Not to mention those “bastards” given up for adoption by the mother who didn’t want to abort.

    Before my wife worked for the state prison system (USA having the highest inmate per capita ration in the world), she worked for a foster agency placing ‘hard to place’ children. Behavior and mental problems, older kids. Why did they do outreach to the gay community ? Cause frequently, Mr. & Mrs. All-American didn’t want those kids. Given the abuse gays still are exposed to in the lesser parts of the country, I assume they have greater sympathy for the unwanted.

    Oh, and inmates ? Very frequently the product of foster group homes, i.e. where the pope would rather see those kids go than to gay people. That the head of the Roman Catholic Church complains that gay adoption is “child abuse” is of course particularly precious.

  • “Thank you adoption industry.”

    Unless I’ve missed something on the thread, MZ, you’ve been challenged on this point and haven’t replied. I hope it was just a slip of the fingers at the keyboard.

    Otherwise, I wish you the best in your fairy tale world where moms and dads never die, or get sent off on oil wars, or, heaven forbid, become addicts.

    Typical conservative schtick: feel deflated over news-you-don’t-like and take it out on the kids.

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  • RCM

    It saddens me the numbers of Catholics who flat out reject their Church’s teaching on this matter.

  • grega

    RCM I deeply respect and appreciate your often heartfelt honest opinions and find your voice to be one of deep compassion -for me your above posted sentence could have easily been cut and pasted from a post regarding the regrettable disproportionate high number of catholic abortions – but in this context -for me at least -it does not quite resonate.
    In my opinion ones position is in serious trouble when the 37 year long married salt of the earth type decent family guys start hugging their wife tighter in recognition of the deep love and compassion felt by decent human beings when one actually overcomes ancient not justified prejudices.
    For me todays appropriate fault line for our church is not ‘gay marriage’ – the fault line is ‘good marriage’ – true commitment – responsible mature adult behavior – real trust – deep love.
    I witness a number of responsible fine committed gay couples with adopted and or biological children in my parish – our church is very very wrong to not FULLY embrace such fine examples representing some of the deepest emotional truth of our religion. Our religion is very much about love and compassion.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/04/no-senator-mckinley-i-will-not-cosponsor-a-leadership-bill-with-you.html

  • SegoLily

    I never said it was Catholic doctrine that gay couples cannot adopt. I don’t think the Catholic Church would support it or promote it and SF and Boston archdiocese both altered their policy or got out of the adoption business so as not to uphold this practice. I do not know the Catholic position on single parents. Again, in the long view, homosexual parenting, that is, promotion of the active, “gay” lifestyle from the cradle is unnatural and the children are deprived of the love of a female mother or a male father. Consider if you were an orphan having reached the age of reason (7) and you were offered a mom and a dad, two moms or two dads. Which would you choose?

  • Teeny

    I cannot believe that people still believe that everyone in this country should be held to the moral code of someone else’s religion. How can someone else’s idea of a family in any way infringe on your life? Maybe everyone could just mind they’re own business and focus on what YOU can do to better yourself. If you don’t want abortion, divorce, or gay marriage- don’t get one! But in no way are you justified to tell someone else how to live their life.