Friday, April 3, 2009

Radar Love

The highest court of Iowa, home state of tee-vee's Radar O'Reilly, has legalized same-sex marriage:

Friday's decision upheld a 2007 ruling by a lower court that Iowa's 1998 law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples went against the state's constitution. It becomes effective in 21 days.
You don't need Radar's mind-divination powers to know how the god-drunk would react to this:
Other organizations were not pleased. "It's, quite frankly, a disaster," said Brian English, a spokesman for the Iowa Family Policy Center. "Obviously, we're extremely disappointed. We're saddened, perhaps a little bit surprised in the unanimous decision that the court handed down."
Well, I'm surprised they're surprised; surprise is cheap.

Andrew Sullivan has compiled a list of reactions from across the internets, both favorable and unfavorable. Ben Smith says the ruling has the effect of "pronouncing same-sex marriages and gay and lesbian couples essentially normal." I don't think that follows, and the argument over normality misses the point. Normal carries the same root as the word norm, and norms are always to be treated and conceived separately from laws. It might be the norm to chew with one's mouth closed and always say "please" and "thank you," but it does not follow that state law should enforce these practices. People unfavorably "surprised" by this ruling are free to continue to consider gay people as something other than normal, whatever that means to them. Go nuts! Enjoy! Godspeed! This will make them officious bigots or complete assholes, perhaps, but feelings and opinions about gay people matter less than equality under the law.

Thank you, Iowa.

2 comments:

twoblueday said...

I don't sleep particularly well, possibly due to excessive rumination. I lay there with my mind abuzz about stuff, and can't seem to shut down.

I do not recall any of those sleep-depriving thoughts ever being worries about whether two people of the same gender were doing sexual stuff on my block, in my 'hood, in my town, in my State, in my nation, or on the Earth.

The religious "dogs of war" will set up a howl over the decision in Iowa, and plan something as a countermeasure. Doubtless, they'll seek and amendment to the Iowa constitution.

Dale said...

twoblue, definitely. The wingnuts in Iowa (and beyond) are already down the road toward re-banning same-sex marriage in Iowa. I won't be at all surprised if it passes.

But at least they can't weasel out of recognizing that it will require an explicit amendment to the state constitution to make the ban. They have to go out of their way to put this bigotry into law. It's too bad they are so willing.