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Gays, critical thought, an independent judiciary: The 'pro-family' war is multi-pronged

by Jeremy Hooper

Here at G-A-Y, we strive for transparency. Always. Which is why when we want to show you something, we directly link to it, embed it, etc. It's easy for us, because we know that our movement benefits from full disclosure and laid-bear truth. We actually WANT you to read, see, experience, and think things for yourself.

At Focus on the Family, they want to tell you how to think. That's because their movement is, largely, a social construct that depends on code-wording, narrow interpretation, and fostered untruths in order to stay alive. Which is exactly why, when wishing to make a point about today's Iowa ruling, FOF's spokesperson presents his information in this sort of unfairly reduced fashion:

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst at Focus on the Family Action, said the ruling took his breath away.

"The justices brazenly asserted that their role was not only to redefine marriage, but also to legislate whatever new social agenda they favored, 'free from the influences' of a society resistant to such change," he said. "Such an admission is breathtaking in its arrogance and scope."
Iowa Supreme Court Strikes Down Marriage Law [FOF]

Okay, so Bruce wants you to believe that the justices are "legislating." He also wants to disconnect the supposed marriage "redefinition" from the equal protection issue, as if their decision and their role in interpreting equal protection are somehow detached. Plus through his paraphrase, he  Good As You Images 200807181555-1.Jpgwants you to think that the justices thumbed their noses as society. And he tells you that this is all very arrogant, making it sound as if they cited no sort of valid reasoning in their opinion.

But like we said -- this is what he wants you to think. If you decide to cull your information from, oh, I don't know, THE INFORMATION SOURCE ITSELF, then we think you will see that it's actually society's understanding of equal protection, the past ways that it's been applied, and the necessary role of the independent judiciary that the court is addressing in the portion of the ruling that Mr. Hausknecht cites. The same sort of understanding, precedence, and applications that he and FOF are working so desperately to misconstrue:

The process of defining equal protection, as shown by our history as captured and told in court decisions, begins by classifying people into groups. A classification persists until a new understanding of equal protection is achieved. The point in time when the standard of equal protection finally takes a new form is a product of the conviction of one, or many, individuals that a particular grouping results in inequality and the ability of the judicial system to perform its constitutional role free from the influences that tend to make society’s understanding of equal protection resistant to change. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes poignantly said, “It is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that so it was laid down in the time of Henry IV. It is still more revolting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished long since, and the rule simply persists from blind imitation of the past.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Justice, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, The Path of the Law, address dedicating new hall at Boston University School of Law (January 8, 1897), in 10 Harv. L. Rev. 457, 469 (1897). This concept is evident in our past cases.

In the first reported case of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Iowa,
In re Ralph, 1 Morris 1 (Iowa 1839), we refused to treat a human being as property to enforce a contract for slavery and held our laws must extend equal protection to persons of all races and conditions. 1 Morris at 9. This decision was seventeen years before the United States Supreme Court infamously decided Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 15 L. Ed. 691 (1856), which upheld the rights of a slave owner to treat a person as property. Similarly, in Clark v. Board of Directors, 24 Iowa 266 (1868), and Coger v. North West. Union Packet Co., 37 Iowa 145 (1873), we struck blows to the concept of segregation long before the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954). Iowa was also the first state in the nation to admit a woman to the practice of law, doing so in 1869. Admission of Women to the Bar, 1 Chicago Law Times 76, 76 (1887). Her admission occurred three years before the United States Supreme Court affirmed the State of Illinois’ decision to deny women admission to the practice of law, see Bradwell v.Illinois, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 130, 139, 21 L. Ed. 442, 445 (1873), and twenty- five years before the United States Supreme Court affirmed the refusal of the Commonwealth of Virginia to admit women into the practice of law, see Ex parte Lockwood, 154 U.S. 116, 118, 14 S. Ct. 1082, 1083, 38 L. Ed. 929, 930 (1894). In each of those instances, our state approached a fork in the road toward fulfillment of our constitution’s ideals and reaffirmed the “absolute equality of all” persons before the law as “the very foundation principle of our government.”4 See Coger, 37 Iowa at 153.

So, today, this court again faces an important issue that hinges on our definition of equal protection. This issue comes to us with the same importance as our landmark cases of the past. The same-sex-marriage debate waged in this case is part of a strong national dialogue
5 centered on a fundamental, deep-seated, traditional institution that has excluded, by state action, a particular class of Iowans. This class of people asks a simple and direct question: How can a state premised on the constitutional principle of equal protection justify exclusion of a class of Iowans from civil marriage?
The ruling [G-A-Y]

It's no wonder Mr. Hausknecht found this portion "breathtaking." It seems he was too busy keeping FOF's spin machine alive to actually take a breath and consider what it was actually saying!

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