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Weighs in on judicial retention debate

October 27, 2012
Messenger News

To the editor:

On Oct. 23, The Messenger printed an article called, "In Iowa justice vote, backers focus on history of equality." It said that backers of Iowa Supreme Court Justice Wiggins will be campaigning to convince voters to "reject a conservative effort to oust him for approval of same-sex marriage" in the Nov. 6 election. They will encourage voters to keep Wiggins on the basis that Iowa has traditionally been ahead of the nation when it comes to equal rights.

The people of Iowa tend not to favor same-sex marriages. Should not the laws of a state reflect the morals of a state? Iowa is a leader in equality rights. Should same-sex couples be treated with respect and equality? Respect, absolutely. Equality? Treating things equally means treating them like they are the same. I believe homosexual couples should have some equal rights, but if history shows anything like supporters of Wiggins seem to think it does, it shows that marriage is between a man and a woman. Homosexual unions should not be treated equally by allowing marriage because they are not the same and, therefore, will always be unequal. Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the absence of unjustified discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person's identity. Is homosexually "inalienable"? This would be the "born that way" argument that's such a hot topic.

Personally, I believe homosexually is a choice and not an inalienable right, although I realize that not everyone will agree with me. Secondly, is the discrimination unjustified? Nearly every culture of all time has defined marriage as a type of relationship between a man and a woman, as does the majority of the United States. Should Iowans be expected to change the definition of marriage in their state for the sake of a cause they don't support? Does equality mean changing the time-honored definition of marriage, that it is only between a man and a woman? I think not. Should they not have the right to fire a judge that forces them to do so? Absolutely, and nobody should ask them to "reject a conservative effort" on the basis of a history of social equality. Iowans traditionally support equality rights. Iowans also traditionally oppose same-sex marriage. Are equality rights and same-sex marriage the same? No, and don't let anybody tell you so.

Ruth Elaine Schroeder

Fort Dodge



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