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Another Equal Rights Victory 

America's "heartland" is all "heart" and "mind." Iowa's Supreme Court legalized gay marriage! It wasn't a case of "4 to 3", liberals versus conservatives, it

America's "heartland" is all "heart" and "mind." Iowa's Supreme Court legalized gay marriage! It wasn't a case of "4 to 3", liberals versus conservatives, it was a unanimous decision upholding a lower-court's rejection of marriage being between one man and one woman. The decision language was brilliant: "We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective." Also, the Iowa lawmakers have "excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification," and any other decision "would be an abdication of our constitutional duty."

Oregon's Bill of Rights states: "No law shall be passed granting...privileges, or immunities, which...shall not equally belong to all citizens." I suggest Oregon's Supreme Court is guilty of abdicating their "constitutional duty." Prejudice must not negate equal human rights - ever! Those who oppose gay marriage, also oppose their own state constitutions! But wait, there's more. Vermont's legislators on Tuesday (Apr. 7) approved gay marriage with an override vote to counter the Governor's threatened veto! What's important here is that this was a legislative act, not a Supreme Court decision as was the case in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa.

Bills are on the books before the legislatures to allow gay marriage in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey. If those states approve gay marriage, that would be eight states and if California and Oregon come through, it would be ten states or 20 percent. There may be a landslide coming! Hear! Hear! for the gay communities throughout the country. It's about time.

Bob Bates

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