The Iowa Supreme Court issued a ruling last week that overturns a state statute defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Once again, an activist court has run roughshod over the desires of hundreds of thousands of Iowans who supported a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1998. DOMA passed by a 40-9 margin in the state Senate and an 89-10 margin in the House.

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.