Friday, April 3, 2009

Who's cool? Iowa, Vermont or North Dakota?


On a scale from zero to fantastic, Iowa gets the fantastic vote, Vermont gets an optimistic six and North Dakota takes the zero spot.

I could just say... "What SHE said. Iowa is baller. obvi." and you could click on Leigh-Taylor's blog (and then bookmark it as many have), but I'll fill you in too. Today was a milestone for gay marriage. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. This is huge, not only because there are now three states (Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa - with Cali in there briefly) that support same-sex marriage, but because this ruling brought the fairness and equality into the center of the United States - into the midwest, no longer leaving gay marriage as an issue on the coasts.

The official ruling states: Consequently, the language in Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman must be stricken from the statute, and the remaining statutory language must be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage.

Lambda Legal, based here in NYC, in addition to other political advocacy groups, was the foundation who created the active push that ended in a 7-0 unanimous vote to bring marriage equality to the Iowa Constitution. In addition to the link above to the Human Rights Campaign blog, HERE is the official release from the HRC national headquarters.

And to make it even more official, here's the text I received from my sister, Hannah: Iowa's supreme court ruled today that classifying marriage as being between one man and one woman was unconstitutional :o) I think it's pretty cool that this is the kind of stuff that my family texts about. I'm lucky.

In other news, Vermont is super close to following in Iowa's [wonderful] footsteps. Nine years ago, Vermont became the first state to recognized same-sex benefits with civil unions. A bill is being presented for marriage equality that Governor Jim Douglas intends to veto. However, the House is then planning an override and they are basically 5 votes short of a successful override. Click HERE for more info and a link to contact the Vermont legislators.

And how about a collective "boo." Today, the North Dakota House voted against the anti-discrimination bill - which, if that is confusing for you, could be interpreted as 'voted in favor of discrimination.' Senate Bill 2278, which sought to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in matters of employment, public accommodations, housing, state and local government services, insurance and credit transactions. (I didn't write that... it was right HERE) Equality isn't lost or considered a failure in ND, we are just hitting some stumbling blocks. Pull it together ND. I hope that the progress in Iowa and Vermont will continue to motivate those who are fighting for equality in North Dakota.


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