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Thread: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrein View Post
    There should be no such thing as state-recognized (including federally recognized) marriage. There should be no legal institution for 'marriage' in the first place.
    I agree, but as long as it does exist and it's defined as being between two people, then it must be equal and include same sex couples, of whom it has been scientifically proven are equally as capable of having stable, loving families that contribute to society.

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    Britain allows same sex marriage, as does
    That was simply done by the very unpopular New Labour with little popular input and I think it is only civil unions. It does not represent a traditional acceptance of gay marriage in our heritage and culture, more like an example of New Labour PC thuggery(I'm talking about the random introduction rather than the issue itself.).

    Also the UK's current laws are hardly a massive part of American cultural and legal tradition.
    That anti-gay marriage activists are actively trying to create a new discriminatory right for themselves in law that never existed before? Yep, that's exactly what the left is telling you.
    This makes no sense, you have not explained what you mean, you simply stopped replying to my rebuttals. In the US marriage has always been interpreted, legally and in the prevailing and most other cultures and traditions, as between a man and a women as it has in Iowa, there is nothing new about that. The law doesn't have to expressly say it, the tradition, precedent and original meaning already capture the view that when a US law talks about marriage, except perhaps a couple in recent years, they mean between a man and a women. My point is not that it should necessarily stay like this, simply that if it is changed it should not be changed by the abitrary power of judges reinterpreting what marriage or equal protection means in constitutions and laws from what they originally and traditionally mean, which undermines the rule of law and turns written constitutions into guidelines, but changed by legslatures with popular support.

    If you're talking about amendments that is something different but let's not forget it is only due to the arbitrary power of liberal judicial activism that these amendements are being turned to.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    That was simply done by the very unpopular New Labour with little popular input and I think it is only civil unions. It does not represent a traditional acceptance of gay marriage in our heritage and culture, more like an example of New Labour PC thuggery(I'm talking about the random introduction rather than the issue itself.).
    I'm not really interested in your explanation of perceived flaws in the UK legal system. Gay marriage is legal in Britain and many enjoy the rights therein, so my point stands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Also the UK's current laws are hardly a massive part of American cultural and legal tradition.
    I wasn't talking about laws, I was talking about culture. Are you denying that part of British culture now includes gay marriage? Note, in my question I am not talking about TRADITIONAL culture, I am talking about CULTURE. The wording is minor but the difference is large.

    America's neighbour to the North allows gay marriage across the board. In Canada's three largest cities, it is socially acceptable. Many Canadians have dual citizenship with the U.S. So yes, there are cultures present in the U.S. that accept gay marriage. Next...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    This makes no sense, you have not explained what you mean, you simply stopped replying to my rebuttals.
    Your rebuttals are the same arguments I've heard time and time again by the discriminatory right, and frankly they are not worth my time replying to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    In the US marriage has always been interpreted, legally and in the prevailing and most other cultures and traditions, as between a man and a women as it has in Iowa, there is nothing new about that.
    This is patently false. If it has always been legally interpreted as being between a man and a woman (note: I said LEGALLY, not according to tradition or what you think is "right" or "wrong"), then the language indicating this would have been present long before the political battle. In fact, this language was never included, most likely because no one ever dreamed of buggers as having rights in the modern era, let alone being able to marry. We're talking about an era when gays were arrested and even executed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    The law doesn't have to expressly say it, the tradition, precedent and original meaning already capture the view that when a US law talks about marriage, except perhaps a couple in recent years, they mean between a man and a women.
    Even if I am to accept what you are saying about the past, that doesn't provide precedent for why the right should be denied now. You are referring to an era where gays were executed or lobotomized for being who they were. A lot has changed since then and the law has evolved to reflect that. What you are suggesting is that the law should not be allowed to evolve if it violates tradition, and that is simply not the way things work.

    The rights of heterosexuals to marry each other are not violated by granting this right to homosexuals. We're talking about state benefits, not morality. As I said earlier, gays can and do get married, but they don't receive licenses which entitle them to benefits which can aid their families in the fashion that heterosexual couples do. Marriage belongs to the churches, not the state. The state is simply the licensing body, in which case the law must be deferred to, NOT tradition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    My point is not that it should necessarily stay like this, simply that if it is changed it should not be changed by the abitrary power of judges reinterpreting what marriage or equal protection means in constitutions and laws from what they originally and traditionally mean, which undermines the rule of law and turns written constitutions into guidelines, but changed by legslatures with popular support.
    A constitution is a living document whose application evolves with time. It is the foundation of the state that must always be referred to. If judges are doing their job, they will always look at the language of the constitution to see if their decisions are violating its ethics. In the case of gay marriage, there is nothing mentioned about it... so they must defer to the equal protection clause. This is a modern application of an old value, and judges doing so are still following the law.

    What you are suggesting is that they ignore the constitution because, in your opinion, it was made long ago and its authors did not consider homosexuality or same sex marriage, thus it is irrelevant. Well, no... that is not how it works. It is still the guiding legal charter of states and the nation, so modern issues still have to be made to fit that charter. The majority of state constitutions only defined marriage as between two people, and that is how the judges must interpret it if they are doing their jobs correctly.

    It would be activism to ignore such an absence and insert a subjective value instead. After hearing many of the same, tired, predictable arguments of those on the right, I have been lead to believe that many, including yourself, do not actually know what the word "activism" means.

    "Activism", in this case, is a ruling you disagree with. That is all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    If you're talking about amendments that is something different but let's not forget it is only due to the arbitrary power of liberal judicial activism that these amendements are being turned to.
    You can keep calling it judical activism but it doesn't make it true. It's not activism for them to follow the wording of the constitutions. It's activism to add an amendment defining the genders of marriage, as that is actively creating a new right that never existed before. Perhaps tradition upholds this value, but speaking from a legal standpoint, that discriminatory right did not exist until the amendments were made.

    The judges fulfilled their duty according to the wording and law of the constitution (note that tradition has no bearing on the wording of the law). It is up to the public engaging in popular activism to vote for an amendment if they disagree.

    The Iowa Court ruling was Constitutional and fair.

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    What is so magical about the number two, as it pertains to marriage? It seems the same sex argument boils down to that number. "As long as its two loving people". What is special about two men or two women? With a man and a woman, the old adage that two go to bed but three get up hold true, barring physical obstacles to the contrary.

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    I agree, but as long as it does exist and it's defined as being between two people, then it must be equal and include same sex couples, of whom it has been scientifically proven are equally as capable of having stable, loving families that contribute to society.
    Sure I do agree with that, but when you think about it, if you are against the war in Iraq, is there any point in wasting time argueing "well if we ARE going to be in Iraq then..." when you should simply be argueing that we shouldn't be in Iraq?

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrein View Post
    Sure I do agree with that, but when you think about it, if you are against the war in Iraq, is there any point in wasting time argueing "well if we ARE going to be in Iraq then..." when you should simply be argueing that we shouldn't be in Iraq?
    What?

    .........

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    I'm not really interested in your explanation of perceived flaws in the UK legal system. Gay marriage is legal in Britain and many enjoy the rights therein, so my point stands.
    Not really, not only does it confuse recent law with culture but it has little to do with the US.

    I wasn't talking about laws, I was talking about culture. Are you denying that part of British culture now includes gay marriage? Note, in my question I am not talking about TRADITIONAL culture, I am talking about CULTURE. The wording is minor but the difference is large.
    I'm denying that it is partm of our culture certainly, at the moment it is a very recent legal change. Culture is an historical thing, it is not simply what the current gov't decides.

    America's neighbour to the North allows gay marriage across the board. In Canada's three largest cities, it is socially acceptable. Many Canadians have dual citizenship with the U.S. So yes, there are cultures present in the U.S. that accept gay marriage. Next...
    And this has to do with US tradition and precedent how?

    Your rebuttals are the same arguments I've heard time and time again by the discriminatory right, and frankly they are not worth my time replying to.
    Ie you cannot debunk them. I'm not against gay marriage per se.

    This goes far beyond gay marriage, it is about danger of arbitrary power and the rule of law and I'm disappointed you won't engage on the subject Orius and are becoming hostile. I take you to be a quite good poster.

    This is patently false. If it has always been legally interpreted as being between a man and a woman (note: I said LEGALLY, not according to tradition or what you think is "right" or "wrong"), then the language indicating this would have been present long before the political battle.
    It didn't have to be. This is what tradition, precedent and the original meaning took it to mean. If this is ignored then itm undermines the rule of law and turns written constitutions into mere guidelines.
    In fact, this language was never included, most likely because no one ever dreamed of buggers as having rights in the modern era, let alone being able to marry. We're talking about an era when gays were arrested and even executed.
    Yoiu admit my point here.



    Even if I am to accept what you are saying about the past, that doesn't provide precedent for why the right should be denied now. You are referring to an era where gays were executed or lobotomized for being who they were. A lot has changed since then and the law has evolved to reflect that. What you are suggesting is that the law should not be allowed to evolve if it violates tradition, and that is simply not the way things work.
    I'm not arguing they should be denied these rights, simply that they should be denied these rights if they come via the arbitrary power of judicial activism. I'm certainly arguing that the law should not evolve by judicial activism. It is for the legsilature to make law.
    The rights of heterosexuals to marry each other are not violated by granting this right to homosexuals. We're talking about state benefits, not morality. As I said earlier, gays can and do get married, but they don't receive licenses which entitle them to benefits which can aid their families in the fashion that heterosexual couples do. Marriage belongs to the churches, not the state. The state is simply the licensing body, in which case the law must be deferred to, NOT tradition.
    And tradition, precdent and original meaning give law its meaning and interpretation and stop them being interpreted according to arbitrary whim of judiciary.


    A constitution is a living document whose application evolves with time.
    Nope, to mean anything it must be interpreted strictly and originally by the judicary otherwise it is mere guidelines/


    It is the foundation of the state that must always be referred to. If judges are doing their job, they will always look at the language of the constitution to see if their decisions are violating its ethics.
    If they are doing their job they will look to see if they are vilating its very wording based upon original meaning and precedent/tradition.


    In the case of gay marriage, there is nothing mentioned about it... so they must defer to the equal protection clause. This is a modern application of an old value, and judges doing so are still following the law.
    Neither gay marriage nor equal protection originally or traditionally have been defined legally to include a right to gay marriage. If you start allowing such abitrary redefinitions you completely undermine the the constitution and rule of law. A right will only be safe until some judge can reinterpret part of the constitution to take it away.

    What you are suggesting is that they ignore the constitution because, in your opinion, it was made long ago and its authors did not consider homosexuality or same sex marriage, thus it is irrelevant. Well, no... that is not how it works. It is still the guiding legal charter of states and the nation, so modern issues still have to be made to fit that charter. The majority of state constitutions only defined marriage as between two people, and that is how the judges must interpret it if they are doing their jobs correctly.
    No my argument is they should uphold the rule of law, the constitution and the separation of powers. They should rule on marriage and equal protection as they were originally intended and have always been interpreted and leave making laws to the legislature.

    It would be activism to ignore such an absence and insert a subjective value instead. After hearing many of the same, tired, predictable arguments of those on the right, I have been lead to believe that many, including yourself, do not actually know what the word "activism" means.

    "Activism", in this case, is a ruling you disagree with. That is all.
    You're making no sensre at all. You're argument seems to be that because gay marriage wasn't mentioned then we can redefine marriage and equal protection to allow it. This is activism.

    A constitution and laws are made of written words. The rule of law consists of these ruling through the judiciary. For this to happen they must keep the meaning constant otherwise it is just the arbitrary power of the judiciary ruling along some broad outlines. So phrases and meanings need to be interpeted according to their original meaning and precdent/tradition by the judiciary otherwise it is activism as it is in this case. It is for the legislature to decide whether this meaning needs to be overturned, it is its role to legsilate and it is the one accountable to the people.



    You can keep calling it judical activism but it doesn't make it true. It's not activism for them to follow the wording of the constitutions.
    Again you make no sense, that is exactly what I'm arguing for. I however recognise that that for the constitution and rule of law to mean anything then meanings of words and phrases needs to stay the same, as far as the judicary is concerned, unless the legsilature. Words and phrases can have various interpreations, what you are basically saying is that the courts can apply any interpretation that has any credible link to the words of the constitution of law. I reject this for being activism; it grants legislative and arbitrary power to the judiciary.
    It's activism to add an amendment defining the genders of marriage, as that is actively creating a new right that never existed before.
    You're confusing things, you're talking about the legislature, that.now, that is a whole different sphere.
    The judges fulfilled their duty according to the wording and law of the constitution (note that tradition has no bearing on the wording of the law).
    Of course tradition, precdent and original meaning have bearing on the law and constitutions. Many phrases and words can be interpreted in several ways, it could even go to absurd lengths like defining the right to bear arms as the right to wear sleeveless shirts but not to own guns, without tradition and originality then it really does make the constitution and law guidelines and allow the judiciary to make law and social policy.

    The Iowa Court ruling was Constitutional and fair.
    It was judicial activism underming the written constitution and rule of law.
    Last edited by Wessexman; 04-14-09 at 03:03 AM.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    What?

    .........
    I'am saying, if you believe there should be no legal institution of marriage at all, then that's what you should be argueing, not a hypothetical that's compromising your ideal to begin with.

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    I agree, but as long as it does exist and it's defined as being between two people, then it must be equal and include same sex couples,
    Why?

    Genralised calls for equality are rarely useful particularly when they take on specifics without relinquishing any of their abstract nature.
    of whom it has been scientifically proven are equally as capable of having stable, loving families that contribute to society.
    Me and CC had this discussion. Not omly is the evidence about a very narrow level, ie not about society as whole, but it is certainly very limited and disputed. Personally I think gay marriage is probably a good thing, better to have homosexuals in what is probably a more stable, long term foundation for relationships, but I don't think subscribe to this sort of wild laudation.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Iowa Court says gay marriage ban unconstitutional

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Not really, not only does it confuse recent law with culture but it has little to do with the US.

    I'm denying that it is partm of our culture certainly, at the moment it is a very recent legal change. Culture is an historical thing, it is not simply what the current gov't decides.
    Gay relationships are part of your culture, as are gay families. It is only recently that these minorities have been seeking legal acknowledgement, hence the gay rights movement. However, until the 70's, the medical community would not back this up. Now there is plenty of research which shows that gays are normal people, and their families are also normal. ("Normal" meaning capable of fruitful stability.) There is no reason to deny them this right at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Ie you cannot debunk them. I'm not against gay marriage per se.
    No... I am tired of explaining to people how the law works versus their idea of how tradition works. Most people cannot even make this separation, and you are one of them. I will state the facts and if you don't understand them, then I'm not going to take the time to educate another person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    It didn't have to be. This is what tradition, precedent and the original meaning took it to mean. If this is ignored then itm undermines the rule of law and turns written constitutions into mere guidelines.
    The constitution doesn't tell governments or judges what they can do, but what they can't do. It is a document of affirmations. There is nothing in the documents that affirm marriage is between a man and a woman. That is how law works. Say it with me now: this is the wording of the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Yoiu admit my point here.
    I admit that the language of the time probably didn't consider gays, but I don't admit that this is a reason to deny gays the right to marry now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    I'm not arguing they should be denied these rights, simply that they should be denied these rights if they come via the arbitrary power of judicial activism. I'm certainly arguing that the law should not evolve by judicial activism. It is for the legsilature to make law.
    And tradition, precdent and original meaning give law its meaning and interpretation and stop them being interpreted according to arbitrary whim of judiciary.
    The values of tradition, while important, are subjective. Whose tradition are you referring to? Additionally... whether or not the judges are being activists is irrelevant. There are two other branches that can weigh in on this matter. They either do, or they don't. If they don't, then you'll have to accept the ruling and move on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Nope, to mean anything it must be interpreted strictly and originally by the judicary otherwise it is mere guidelines/
    This is impossible, unless you can resurrect the authors and have them sit on a permanent court. They are the only ones who can tell you its original intent. Until then, the body of the law is interpretive which is why we have judges and juries in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    If they are doing their job they will look to see if they are vilating its very wording based upon original meaning and precedent/tradition.
    The wording takes on new meaning given the context of law. This is why there are judges and supreme courts in the first place. They have to weigh modern needs with constitutional law and see if the modern needs conflict with the wording of existing law. Evidently, the Iowa judges felt that no such conflict existed, and rightfully so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Neither gay marriage nor equal protection originally or traditionally have been defined legally to include a right to gay marriage. If you start allowing such abitrary redefinitions you completely undermine the the constitution and rule of law. A right will only be safe until some judge can reinterpret part of the constitution to take it away.
    No right is being taken away in this case. Heterosexual marriage still remains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    No my argument is they should uphold the rule of law, the constitution and the separation of powers. They should rule on marriage and equal protection as they were originally intended and have always been interpreted and leave making laws to the legislature.
    The judges don't rule based on a history book or some obscure term such as "as they were originally intended"... they look at the WORDING of the law. Say it with me now: the WORDING. They can't presume or insert traditional values where none exist in the wording. This is what the law means. If they ignore the wording, then they are truly activists because they are ignoring the law itself. This is what you seem to not understand at all.

    The separation of powers has not in any way been violated. The Supreme Court ruled, now the legislative body can rule if it decides, and so can the public if enough people petition for a referendum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    You're making no sensre at all. You're argument seems to be that because gay marriage wasn't mentioned then we can redefine marriage and equal protection to allow it. This is activism.
    The idea of gay marriage never even existed when the document was made, but the terms of the document were written to try and encompass the future creation of rights. This same interpretation is why blacks were able to be freed and the women's suffrage movement was successful. The document was applied to situations outside of the scope of its original creation. That is precisely what the judges are supposed to do.

    The judges HAD to operate within the framework of the document, and when it comes to rights, equal protection must be applied. It is rather simple:

    - Marriage is between two people
    - Gender of marriage is not defined in the constitution
    - There is an equal protection clause
    - Therefore all proposed marriages with two people are constitutional

    If you don't understand that, then I can't help you. The judges were right, correct, and fair. If the people of Iowa have a problem, they can petition for a referendum to add a new discriminatory right to the constitution given heterosexuals the only marriage rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    A constitution and laws are made of written words. The rule of law consists of these ruling through the judiciary. For this to happen they must keep the meaning constant otherwise it is just the arbitrary power of the judiciary ruling along some broad outlines. So phrases and meanings need to be interpeted according to their original meaning and precdent/tradition by the judiciary otherwise it is activism as it is in this case. It is for the legislature to decide whether this meaning needs to be overturned, it is its role to legsilate and it is the one accountable to the people.
    It's entertaining to see you struggle to define judical activism, but I won't feed this fire.

    They interpreted the letter of the constitution according to the simple formula I stated above. If you can't accept that, then oh well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Again you make no sense, that is exactly what I'm arguing for. I however recognise that that for the constitution and rule of law to mean anything then meanings of words and phrases needs to stay the same, as far as the judicary is concerned, unless the legsilature. Words and phrases can have various interpreations, what you are basically saying is that the courts can apply any interpretation that has any credible link to the words of the constitution of law. I reject this for being activism; it grants legislative and arbitrary power to the judiciary.
    The wording will always be interpreted differently according to the times, but luckily the creators worded it in such a way that stray interpretation is highly restricted. Equal protection means equal protection, you can't spin it to mean something else.

    The judiciary does not have legislative power, they have judical power. They form the law and it remains law unless the legislative branch or the public steps in. What they did was legal and fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    You're confusing things, you're talking about the legislature, that.now, that is a whole different sphere.
    Of course tradition, precdent and original meaning have bearing on the law and constitutions. Many phrases and words can be interpreted in several ways, it could even go to absurd lengths like defining the right to bear arms as the right to wear sleeveless shirts but not to own guns, without tradition and originality then it really does make the constitution and law guidelines and allow the judiciary to make law and social policy.
    The legislature can debate the moral ethics of this law if they so choose, but the judiciary has no such luxury. They can look at the morals but ultimately the judiciary is bound by the wording of the constitution. It is the legislature, voted in by their constituents, who are bound to their audience. The judges are not appointed by the public, so they are not bound by what "tradition" means to the public... their job is to look at the letter of the law and make sure it is being followed.

    Now, I will only say this one more time: what the judiciary did was fair in accordance with the constitution. If there are moral reservations over "tradition" being violated, then it is the job of the legislature or a public referendum to change things. The legislature represents the public as they were appointed by the public. The judges were appointed by the State to assess the merits of cases according to legal and constitutional criteria.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    It was judicial activism underming the written constitution and rule of law.
    Please cite which laws were undermined according to Iowa's State Constitution. Do this in your next post.
    Last edited by Orion; 04-14-09 at 03:29 AM.

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