Equal Protection: A Lesson from Iowa

How can you say banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional when marriage isn’t in the Constitution?  Well, here’s one example from the Iowa Supreme Court, which decided the state’s statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman unconstitutional.  The comparison can be made given that the Iowa Constitution and the United States Constitution both have equal protection clauses.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF IOWA
No. 07–1499
Filed April 3, 2009
“Defendant appeals from district court summary judgment ruling holding state statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman unconstitutional. AFFIRMED.”

“In this case, we must decide if our state statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the Iowa Constitution, as the district court ruled. On our review, we hold the Iowa marriage statute violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution. Therefore, we affirm the decision of the district court.”

VI.  Conclusion.
The district court properly granted summary judgment to plaintiffs. Iowa Code section 595.2 violates the equal protection provision of the Iowa Constitution.  Our decision becomes effective upon issuance of procedendo.
AFFIRMED.
All justices concur.”

Iowa Constitution
ARTICLE I.
BILL OF RIGHTS.
Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.”

The United States Constitution
AMENDMENT XIV
Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.
“Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

See also:

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2 Responses to Equal Protection: A Lesson from Iowa

  1. Pingback: Is marriage a basic human right? | All Rights for All – Todos los derechos para todxs

  2. you know what it is!! black and yellow, haha just kidding but this is a really good blog. Keep up the nice writing. I was quite impressed!

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