By Barb Arland-Fye
“This decision rejects the wisdom of thousands of years of human history. It implements a novel understanding of marriage, which will grievously harm families and children,” the bishops said in a statement prepared by the Iowa Catholic Conference.
The bishops vowed to continue to protect and promote marriage as a union between a man and a woman and asked Catholics and other citizens of
With the high court’s ruling,
In its 7-0 decision, the court ruled that “limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the Iowa Constitution.” The decision further allows gay and lesbian couples full access to the institution of civil marriage.
The ruling resolves an action brought by six same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in
Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady wrote that “[w]e are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective.”
Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy applauded the court’s decision and said that
The national Human Rights Commission said the Iowa Supreme Court “did its job by recognizing that gay and lesbian couples who form committed relationships and loving families deserve the same level of respect afforded to heterosexual couples.”
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said: “My personal view has been that marriage is between a man and a woman, and I have voted in support of that concept. But I also fundamentally believe that same-sex couples in a civil union should be entitled to all the basic legal protections and benefits of marriage … I will respect and support that decision and I hope that other Iowans can do the same.”
For VeraBeth Bricker, a Catholic who lives in the Davenport Diocese, the court’s decision strikes against everything she believes.
“I really care for gays. They’re a good community. But I’m against gay marriage. From the depth of my values I’m against it. (Marriage) is for a man and a woman.”