September 1st, 2007
08:41 AM ET
14 years ago

Brownback critical of same-sex court ruling

Brownback criticized an Iowa court ruling.

(CNN)–Senator Sam Brownback criticized an Iowa district court ruling that said same-sex couples have the right to marry.

"We should have the courage and conviction to speak out against this decision. The people of Iowa reject the redefinition of marriage, and I pledge to defend the bond of marriage, as I have consistently done in the past," the GOP presidential hopeful from Kansas said in a statement Friday. "This decision shows how important it is to elect leaders who will stand for marriage and who will appoint judges that will not legislate from the bench. We need to rebuild the family and renew the culture, not redefine marriage."

On Thursday, a Polk County judge in Iowa temporarily cleared the way for same-sex couples across the state to apply for marriage licenses in Polk County. He ruled that Iowa's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed marriage only between a man and a woman, violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of six gay couples who had sued.

On Friday, the county recorder stopped accepting marriage applications after the judge stayed his ruling pending a county appeal of the ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford


Filed under: Iowa • Race to '08 • Sam Brownback • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Jason, College Park, Maryland

    Courage and conviction? More like cowardice to change and the rights of everyone. So he pledges to defend the bond of marriage; from what is he defending it? It's not like the bond of marriage will corrode or become less important if same-sex marriage is legalized. On the contrary, more people will have access to that same bond, which will, in turn, strengthen it. The more people that have access to certain rights, the stronger they become. Legislate from the bench? Judges are bound to interpret the law within the context of the argument; and sometimes, it is necessary to take into account the evolution of time from generation to generation. Laws created in the late 1700s for US citizens would not make much sense today, so they have evolved over time through the reapplication of law by judges. This is one of their tasks. He says, "We need to rebuild the family and renew the culture, not redefine marriage." This IS rebuilding the family. Allowing more people to marry and start families will encourage and strengthen the family unit. With more people able to form families, more families will pervade the American culture and experience. Why do we not hear of politicians defending the bonds of marriage from divorce? At one time, divorce was thought an awful blight on the existence of marriage, and may people felt that it must be stopped in order to save the "sanctity of marriage as a bond forever". You used to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church for such an offense. Why does no one talk about that anymore? It's because people have become used to it. The culture evolved enough that it became accepted. The same will happen with same-sex marriage. It's time to defend marriage from people who would define it based on the traditions of their own generations without perspective of the entire history of marriage, which has been fluid since its inception.

    September 1, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. David, Salinas, CA

    I really wish the anti-gay factions would stop hiding behind abstract phrases like “the redefinition of marriage”. That isn’t the issue and you all know it. The real debate is wether our society is going to continue to condemn homosexuality as a sinful act or accept it as a healthy and normal part of life.

    Gay marriage is no threat to straight marriage. Both strengthen our society. Both are unions of two people in love, making the social, financial and personal commitment to spend their lives together. It’s none of my business who anyone else chooses to marry, (as long as they’re a consenting adult). It’s none of your business, either.

    The sad fact is that there is a large and vocal group of American citizens who just don’t like homosexuality. They have an irrational fear of gays called homophobia. They have a set of policy goals which amount to bigotry. They claim to be Christian, but they don’t appear to have read the New Testament. They claim to be right, but they’re not.

    I’m happy to argue the issues of civil rights for gay Americans. I think the debate is long overdue. But I’m tired of arguments about biology with people who deny the basics of biology and I’m tired of arguments about civil rights with people who don’t seem to believe in civil rights.

    It’s time for you anti-gay activists to bring your real arguments out of the closet. You don’t like gays because you fear them, because they disgust you because they creep you out. You don’t approve of homosexuality because your parents didn’t, because your preachers don’t, because you read it in Leviticus. You think homosexuality is a sin and that society should never condone it. That’s why you’re fighting gay marriage, and gays in the military, and every other gay civil right you can oppose.

    I recognize that your fears are real and that your beliefs are heartfelt. I hope you recognize that a sizeable portion of the American public disagrees with you. So lets argue. But let’s be honest.

    September 1, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Eugene Elliott, Orlando, FL

    Old Brownback, I do not much approve of his politics. Too much like electing Falwell, before he died that is. Acceptsance of the gay people is not required. I do not favor it for a few reasons. But, they must be tolerated and granted their rights under the Constitution. The GOP has not been big on rights lately, except executive privilage that is. The only concern that I have with redefining marriage is that the GOP has prevented the rerhabilitation of Social Security, Medicade, Medicare ect. If gay civil unions were recognized as marriage, then the courts would require coverage for gay "sposes" and just whose taxes do you propose to raise to do that? More GOP borrow and spend? Wrongo. As many bloggers agree, we are in a hole, a canyon actually. Time to stop digging and but this measure would dig a lot deeper. Maybe after 7 years of maddness we can become rational at last.

    September 1, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  4. James Parker Memphis, Missouri

    For arguements sake, suppose there was no religious precedent set and what you chose to be done in private remained private. What Darwinian species would evolve it's self into homo/same anything. But with the religious precedent set, some say leviticus, bowing to complete disbelief and confusion, how can free thinking citizens allow minority rule with or without separation of church/state and "civil rights"? Right doesn't evolve it endures. But we vote anyway..forgive us.

    September 1, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  5. Pam Dallas TX

    How pathetically weak is a marriage that is affected in anyway by ANYONE else's marriage?

    September 1, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  6. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    David,it's the fear that's caused by having homosexual tendencies that their societal constraints won't allow,coupled with anger at those who have evolved and can practice their desired sexuality.That fear and anger transates into a loss of logic and reason facilitated by their religious indoctrination.The conservative mind (thank's to the research of people like yourself,which has it's fleeting moment on the front page of the Times)has very little control over it's emotions and the interference of emotional distress dramatically reduces the owner's ability to even think at all.So don't hold your breath waiting for an intelligent arguement.And please excuse my gratuitous vitriol,it's just the most effective method of making them crawl back under their rocks.

    September 2, 2007 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  7. Robert Reilly NY

    Anytime a fool such as Brownback uses the phrase "legislate from the bench" we should all take note that this is an attempt to limit one branch of government. Civil rights for many would be denied if it were left the the masses.

    September 2, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Matthew W. Combest

    Would we expect anything else from him? He has demonstrated over and over again he is just another republican hate monger that is willing to step on the faces of gay american's on his way up – time will come when public opinion of gay rights changes – Republican's are just drawing it out.

    September 2, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Who cares? Honestly, if it doesn't infringe on one's rights, then we shouldnt care.

    September 3, 2007 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  10. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Courts have always legislated from the bench. It's what they are supposed to do. There are three branched to the government, executive, legislative, and judicial. The courts interpret laws based on constitutionality, which is exactly what the court did in this case.

    I wonder how upset Brownback was when the courts decided the Boy Scouts of America could discriminate against gay people? It seems that activist judges only exist when they make decisions the ultra-right wingers don't like.

    September 4, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    "The sad fact is that there is a large and vocal group of American citizens who just don’t like homosexuality. They have an irrational fear of gays called homophobia. They have a set of policy goals which amount to bigotry. They claim to be Christian, but they don’t appear to have read the New Testament. They claim to be right, but they’re not."

    So David, Now would that include the majority of Democratic candidates who also oppose gay marriage? Or are these lies only targeted to christians and Republicans?

    The 45 or so states that were allowed to voice their opinion on this, just red staters with only Republican voters?

    If the electorate is 50-50, why were these votes not even close?

    Many of us haters, bigots and homophobes would fight tooth and nail for civil unions that contain ALL attached rights, ALL.

    It is just about rights, isn't it?

    Complain about the liberal media that only shows the cross dressers every year at the gay pride parades or the liberal entertainment industry that can't portary a gay man as a doctor, lawyer, football player (you know, a person who just happens to be gay).

    It is so much easier in the big picture, when one can target only one select group and leave their own beloved group out of the truthful equation.

    September 4, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |