Preserving the Right for Same-Sex Couples to Marry in Iowa

I’ve long since grown tired of saying that there is yet another attack on gay marriage, but here goes … anti-gay folks in Iowa are on the move to take away gay marriage in that state.

The following appeared on change.org (in the Gay Rights section). It’s a wonderful and informative post. Be sure to following the links throughout the article for more information.

Saving Gay Marriage in Iowa

by Michael A. Jones
Published January 12, 2010 @ 07:29AM PT

Iowa made history last year by becoming the third state in the United States to legalize gay marriage — something the state’s highest court ruled was required under Iowa’s constitution. But opponents of gay marriage, never one to pass up an opportunity to put together an anti-gay ballot initiative, are now chanting “Let the People Vote!” as if they were the only words in their vocabulary. Iowa legislators will need to make the call as to whether gay marriage gets put up for a vote in the coming years.

Enter One Iowa, a well-organized statewide organization (with a really cool logo to boot) looking to protect the right of civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples in the Hawkeye State. They’re greeting lawmakers today, on the first day of the state’s 2010 legislative session, with 18,000 postcards from supporters of same-sex marriage. And they’re also launching a new campaign, Red Blue Purple, to keep discussions about marriage equality brewing, changing hearts and minds on the issue.

As one Iowa resident, Gary Swenson, told a local television affiliate, taking gay marriage rights away after the state has already made them legal would be barbaric and painful.

“To take that away from me once I have been given it would be a traumatic event and a very cruel thing for the people of Iowa to do,” Swenson said. And though he may be right about the cruelty of ballot initiatives that repeal gay marriage, that hasn’t stopped right-wing groups before. Exhibit 1 and 2: California and Maine.

For One Iowa, the issue is to get legislators thinking about issues that affect the common good, and not bogus attempts to scale back civil rights. Banning same-sex marriage won’t fix infrastructure, or won’t clean up the destruction of past national disasters.

“At a time when Iowans are losing their homes and still rebuilding after the devastating 2008 floods, we should be focusing on issues of common concern to all Iowa families such as the economy, health care, and education, rather than focusing on divisive issues and amending the constitution to hurt Iowa families,” read the text of the 18,000 postcards delivered to Iowa’s state legislature.

Simply put, there’s just no good reason that Iowa should become the next California or Maine. Iowa families deserve better than a big pile of discrimination waiting for them at the ballot box.

Photo credit: Alan Light

[Source: Change.org’s Gay Rights section]

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