While unexpressed, religious sentiment most likely motivates many, if not most, opponents of same-sex civil marriage and perhaps even shapes the views of those people who may accept gay and lesbian unions but find the notion of same-sex marriage unsettling. . . . Consequently, we address the religious undercurrent propelling the same-sex marriage debate as a means to fully explain our rationale for rejecting the dual-gender requirement of the marriage statute.
State government can have no religious views, either directly or indirectly, expressed through its legislation. . . . This proposition is the essence of the separation of church and state. As a result, civil marriage must be judged under our constitutional standards of equal protection and not under religious doctrines or the religious views of individuals. This approach does not disrespect or denigrate the religious views of many Iowans who may strongly believe in marriage as a dual-gender union, but considers, as we must, only the constitutional rights of all people, as expressed by the promise of equal protection for all.
We in the LGBT community and the larger society can dance all around the issue of bullying, but in the context of anti-gay bullying, we will never solve the problem until we take on the driving force behind the phenomenon head on: religious based bigotry and the improper enshrining of such bigotry in the nation’s laws be it in the form of DADT or the deliberate exclusion of non-discrimination protections to LGBT citizens whether it be on the employment front, housing and accommodations or other everyday issues.
When looked at from this perspective, as a nation, the United States must decide whether it will live up to the promises of the Constitution granting all citizens religious freedom and barring religious tests or not. If Barack Obama and others lack the spine to demand that the Constitution be made paramount, then this nation becomes in many ways little more than a hypocritical farce. We condemn Islamic extremists and their effort to impose their warped religious beliefs on all, yet we allow our homer grown equivalents to do precisely what we claim to condemn. Meanwhile, expect the suicide deaths to continue. There is truly no way to end homophobia and anti-gay bigotry without taking on toxic forms of religious belief head on and that includes condemning Christianists as a clear and present danger to to constitutional government.