Iowa Still Ground Zero on Gay Marriage

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More than two years before New York got its shit together last summer, the über-progressive state of Iowa made same-sex marriage legal in 2009. The decision came from the state's Supreme Court, which drew from their state constituion's long history of being way ahead of the curve on civil rights in general. Because of their ruling, same-sex marriage became a constitutional right in Iowa, as American as the corn in their fields (and the syrup which will be pumped into our McDonald's apple pies).

In return, several of those judges were thrown out of office for ruling in this way last November. Marriage equality advocates were worried that a special election yesterday in the Iowa State Senate, which the Des Moines Register says cost more than a million dollars, could result in the Democratic controlled chamber going Republican and opening the door for Iowa to change its constitution. Marriage could have been limited to being between a man and a woman. However, with the election of Democrat Liz Mathis last night, that won't happen.

At the same time, a United States Senate bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (which limits marriage to a man and a woman for all federal benefits, including immigration and federal taxation) is scheduled for a vote in the Judiciary Committee tomorrow. However, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is trying to keep it from getting voted out of committee. According to an email from the Courage Campaign, marriage equality advocates have:

10 votes to pass the bill, but Sen. Grassley is circulating amendments today that would take away rights from married same-sex couples. His goal is to either gut the bill or add enough poison pills that would make Senators waver on the bill...Among Sen. Grassley's amendments is one that would strip federal rights from same-sex married couples when they travel from state to state.
Grassley need not be worried that the bill will become law anytime soon; it's dead on arrival in the House.

But it's interesting to see how Iowa is, once again, playing a pivotal role not just in presidential primary politics, but in the battle for equality for same-sex couples. And as a bellwether for America, Iowa is as schizophrenically incoherent on marriage equality as the rest of the nation.

sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher



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3 comments
Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet
Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet

In an unrelated blog, Charlie Sheen  may have won, one, giving limited credence to his @winning:disqus   Twitter bug. Tonight, I viewed, The Big Bang Theory, also from the Chuck Lorre Chuckle Corral. Sheldon was cranky over his colonoscopy.  But wait a minute. I seem to recall, an episode of Two and a Half Men, in which, Charlie lied to Chelsea about HIS colonoscopy, and no one's gay!  In TV, this is monotonous. In real life, this is a fixation. A better joke would have been, and this is my own , Dont-bother-Sheldon. He's cranky because he's scared he may have picked up Howard's peanut allergy. Last night, at the Whiskey, he started getting puffy, when the waitress brought over the nut tray, he ordered. 

Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet                                                                                                  

Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet
Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet

This isn't about "gay" marriage. This is genderless, in that, neither sex is defined. This ensures that the more traditional forms are neutralized, so as to not put women at a disadvantage. As long as it is genderless, it doesn't matter if the participants are XX or XY.  To complicate matters, XY and XXY also have the requisite 3 Xs.  The XXY, Kleinfelter, occurs naturall

Angela Garcia as NeonMosfet

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