Maybe Someday We'll Be as Progressive as Iowa

While we wait for our "everything but marriage" bill to pass the state House, Iowa has legalized gay marriage, thanks to a ruling its Supreme Court handed down today. Said the court:

"Equal protection under the Iowa Constitution is essentially a direction that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike."

Sounds reasonable. Now compare that to, say, this doozy from the Washington Supreme Court's ruling in Andersen v. King County:

"[The Defense of Marriage Act] is constitutional because the legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race."

Good one, guys. Of course, it's pretty much a certainty that Iowa will face its own Prop 8 battle, with someone proposing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. (A December poll by Big Ten showed 60% opposition to gay marriage in the state (pdf).) The Des Moines Register gives a good rundown of the process for passing an amendment. (Thanks, Nirav.) The earliest it could be on the ballot is November 2010. Of course, given the fervor of gay-marriage opponents, that's probably the latest as well.

At least until then, we'll have another state--and especially another Supreme Court--to look up to.

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