Early Right Wing Reaction to Iowa Ruling

A short round-up of some of the earliest responses to the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous marriage ruling:

Rep. Steve King:

“This is an unconstitutional ruling and another example of activist judges molding the Constitution to achieve their personal political ends. Iowa law says that marriage is between one man and one woman. If judges believe the Iowa legislature should grant same sex marriage, they should resign from their positions and run for office, not legislate from the bench.

“Now it is the Iowa legislature’s responsibility to pass the Marriage Amendment to the Iowa Constitution, clarifying that marriage is between one man and one woman, to give the power that the Supreme Court has arrogated to itself back to the people of Iowa. Along with a constitutional amendment, the legislature must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering.”

Family Research Council:

Today, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins condemned the decision by the Iowa Supreme Court striking down the state's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and forcing same-sex "marriage" on the state. The ruling in Varnum v. Brien was the fourth in favor of legalizing same-sex "marriage" by a state high court. California's ruling was overturned by the people at the ballot box last November; Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only states which currently give marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

"Same-sex 'marriage' continues to be a movement driven by a liberal judicial elite determined to destroy not only the institution of marriage, but democracy as well. The casual dismissal of the facts of human biology and thousands of years of human history, simply to pander to a small band of social radicals, is bizarre and indefensible," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC).

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"We urge Iowans to contact their legislators and urge them to move quickly to pass a constitutional amendment protecting marriage, joining the twenty-nine states that have already defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman in their state constitutions," stated Mr. Perkins.

Eagle Forum:

"This decision should be a wake-up call to Americans that traditional marriage is under assault not only in liberal havens, like Massachusetts and California, but also in traditionally conservative states," said Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly. "The American people will not continue to stand by silently in the face of more and more of these activist court rulings that openly defy the will of the people."

"Over the past few decades, many of the most far-reaching social, economic, and political decisions have been made by judges rather than elected representatives," Schlafly said. "Only elected representatives have the power to make laws, not judges."

"We can never allow the definition of marriage to simply mean two consenting persons who agree to share quarters and start applying to the government for benefits," concluded Schlafly. "Eagle Forum calls on the Iowa state legislature to work to adopt a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman only, and by subsequently passing a state law that withdraws jurisdiction from the state courts over this issue."

Alliance Defense Fund:

“The Iowa marriage law was simple, settled, and overwhelmingly supported by Iowans. There was simply no legitimate reason for the court to redefine marriage,” said long-time Iowa attorney and ADF Senior Legal Counsel Douglas Napier. “The court stepped outside of its proper role of interpreting the law and has instead overruled the will of the people and created new law. Marriage as one man and one woman has been the law in Iowa for 170 years. The Defense of Marriage Act was nearly unanimously supported by the legislature when it was passed. It was supported by the governor and a majority of Iowans.”

“Now it’s time for the Iowa Legislature to allow the people to vote on marriage as one man and one woman by placing a marriage amendment on the ballot. Let Iowans be heard. The legal definition of marriage should be in their hands, not the hands of unelected judges,” Napier added.

Concerned Women for America:

The most disappointing aspect of this ruling is that many pro-family groups and Christian voters continue to hope the judicial or legislative branches will fix the problem when we, the people have failed to honestly stand on the principles of God which gave our Forefathers direction, protection and great wisdom. Until we rightly handle these issues in God's house, we will continue to fail in the court house, the state house and the school house. George Washington warned us it would be impossible to rightly govern without the Bible, until we repent and return to those same principles, we will fail to properly govern and succeed as a nation.

Iowans need to look to the people of California for encouragement and begin working today to pass an amendment by asking our legislators to allow us a vote on an amendment. Sitting legislators should not only support a bill that would allow Iowans a say in the vote, but they should demand their constituents' voices be heard by sponsoring the bill and offering to bring it to the floor. Any legislator not willing to sponsor such a bill is proving their loyalty is with political agendas and not with the people of Iowa or the intent of our Founding Fathers.

Christian Coalition:

The President of the Christian Coalition of America, Roberta Combs said: "American voters time after time have said they do not want to allow homosexual 'marriages' in America. In fact, some 30 states, by an average approval rating of 70%, including California last November, have approved constitutional amendments banning homosexual 'marriages.' State and federal judges should not be legislating their personal viewpoints from the bench. The American people and their representatives are the only ones who should be making our country's laws."

It is way past time for the United States Congress to finally pass a federal constitutional amendment banning homosexual "marriage" once and for all. Considering the fact that some 30 states have overwhelmingly passed such state amendments, and that 38 states are required to ratify a federal constitutional amendment, such a federal amendment will undoubtedly be ratified by more than enough state legislatures. It is time for Congress to act.

Traditional Values Coalition:

This latest decision makes it all the more urgent for Iowa to pass a constitutional amendment that will define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The Iowa Supreme Court may be less anxious to declare a constitutional amendment unconstitutional. If the Court dares to do so, it will mean that Iowans are not self-governing, but are being ruled by a judicial oligarchy.

If this ruling is permitted to stand without challenge, it will result in the persecution of Christians and anyone else who criticizes homosexual conduct.

This ruling will mean that schools will be forced to teach that homosexual marriage is normal – and parents who object will face ridicule and possible criminal penalties against them.

This ruling will be used to force pastors to conduct same-sex ceremonies or face penalties.

Religious groups could lose government funding, tax exempt status or other benefits if they openly oppose same-sex marriage.

Religious employers could face penalties for refusing to provide spousal benefits to same-sex couples.

Religious colleges could be forced to extend housing benefits to same-sex couples.

Iowans must start to work immediately on getting a constitutional amendment passed to protect marriage. Their religious freedoms are in jeopardy if they fail to do so.

Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber:

“What a contrast. Today, the Iowa Supreme Court cast aside any semblance of judicial restraint doing exactly that which the U.S. Supreme Court detested. It unequivocally engaged in ‘judicial legislation,’ unconstitutionally manufacturing law from the bench. No one in his right mind would suggest that the framers of the Iowa Constitution could have ever imagined the silly and incongruous notion of ‘same sex marriage,’ much less considered it a ‘fundamental right.’

“The Iowa Supreme Court has earned its rightful place in the judicial activism hall of shame. It has infected the wholesome heartland with the same malady eating away at natural marriage, family and morality at our nation’s coastal and ideological fringes.

“If you think you saw a fight in California to restore natural marriage with the successful passage of Proposition 8, then hold on to your hats. Something tells me the fine folks of Iowa don’t cotton to seven black robed autocrats supplanting mid-western values with San Francisco vice.”