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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/4/09

What's so difficult to understand about the Iowa Supreme Court Decision?

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Message James Nimmo
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(OKLAHOMA CITY) As an atheist and a supporter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State I am so heartened by today's Iowa Court ruling supporting the full inclusion of gay and lesbian citizens in the social and political life of this country.

The educational deficit and the deliberate exercise of religious and social bigotry is the only explanation for the continued resistance and legal chicanery used by homo-haters.

Frankly, as an atheist I don't care whether we have religious denominations supporting or opposing our marriage equality.  The Iowa court clearly wrote that no one's religious freedom is hindered or advanced by acknowledging marriage equality regardless of the individuals's gender seeking marriage under state law.

Civil law is not the place for opposing religious dogmas, be it the Southern Baptist Convention that opposes, or United Church of Christ that supports, our same-gender marriage.

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Religious cafeteria debate among opposing sects that hurls selected bible verses as if they were lightening bolts has impeded the recognition of our birth right as citizens for generations.

Religion in one form or another as always stood in the way of social advancement and human progress.

Enough is enough.  May this Iowa decision spread like pollen in this spring time of our gay/lesbian discontent.

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Press release from Americans United:

complete at:  http://okcamericansunited.blogspot.com/

In its unanimous ruling, the Iowa high court makes it clear that religious denominations have a constitutional right to set their own rules about marriage but that civil law should reflect equal protection for all citizens and not be anchored in religious dogma.

“The court has reaffirmed religious liberty,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “The justices reminded us that religious groups are free to marry whomever they choose, but civil law cannot be based on any group’s theology.

“The court has recognized that civil marriage is the province of government and religious marriage is the province of the faith community,” Lynn said. “That’s what our constitutional principles mandate, and that’s the way it should be. Clergy are free to perform or decline to perform marriage ceremonies, while the government treats everyone equally when it comes to civil marriage.”

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James Nimmo is active in progressive issues and believes no one should be denied their equality because of the accidents of birth and circumstances.
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