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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Iowa Marriage Ruling Ensures Obama Second Term?

The Iowa Supreme Court's declaration that non-heterosexuals are full citizens too has some significant political implications. Among them: Four more years for President Obama.

The scenario:

Conservatives in Iowa are already agitating to put discrimination against same-sex couples into their state constitution. Iowa law requires legislative approval in two consecutive sessions, meaning the soonest such an amendment could hit the ballot is November 2012.

Fortunately, the Dems in charge of the Iowa legislature are standing up for common sense and saying they will not let the issue come up this session. Iowa Senate Democratic Majority Leader Mike Gronstal responded thus to GOP calls to bring a gay-marriage ban to the Senate floor:

In response, Gronstal shared a story about his daughter, Kate, telling a group of conservative men that opponents of same-sex marriage “have already lost” and that the younger generation doesn’t care.

“I learned something from my daughter that day. That’s what I see, Sen. McKinley,” Gronstal said. “I see a bunch of people that merely want to profess their love for each other and want state law to recognize that. Is that so wrong? I don’t think that’s so wrong.”

He has learned a lot since he voted in favor of Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act in 1998, Gronstal said, and he will not join in the crafting of a marriage amendment.

“Friday I hugged my wife. I felt like our love was just a little more meaningful last Friday night, because thousands of other Iowa citizens could hug each other and have the state recognize their love for each other,” he said [Jason Hancock, "Gronstal: No Same-Sex Marriage Debate," Iowa Independent, 2009.04.06].

Stymied at the state level, the GOP will do what it does best: forget it's the party of small government and argue for the federal government to step in and ban gay marriage nationwide. The GOP social conservatives will be all fired up, hungry to hear a real manly man or womanly woman validate their homophobia and promise to use the bully pulpit to perpetuate bullying of folks whose love just doesn't look right. The GOP candidates will tack hard right to win that vote... so hard right, I am willing to bet, that the GOP will lose the moderate center, just like they did last year.

If the GOP ticket is thus determined by isolated pockets of Iowan homophobia, expect Thune-Sanford -- or Palin-Norris -- versus Obama-Biden. I can't wait!


  1. I love your argument that if the people (anti same sex marriage in your case here) don't get their way, they simply ask the feds to step in. This is EXACTLY what the pro aborts etc do every time! You said a mouthful this time!

  2. Since nobody is "pro-abortion," I really don't know whom you are talking about.

    But if you mean folks like me who oppose abortion bans, "every time" is incorrect. In 2006, opponents of the abortion ban took the issue to South Dakota voters instead of federal court. Keep chewing on that mouthful... and remember that the relevant point is that anti-government Republicans favor big-government solutions here.

    And that mixed message is part of why the GOP loses in 2012.

  3. Corey:

    Do you really honestly think that this issue will put Obama in office for a second term?

  4. Cory, Please tell me why placing a mans penis in another mans anus is "common sense". You are not really looking at "common sense". You are simply hell bent on the government protecting whatever deviant act an American wants the right to perform, except when it comes to gun ownership. What I love is the fact that when AK-47's are mentioned you get all riled up and try to make a stand. Just like the right to have an abortion is law, so is the right to have an Ak-47's. Again, NOBODY is PRO AK-47, where just pro the "common sense" second ammendment. If you are for "common sense" why does it change when is comes to assualt rifles? Maybe, now you can see whys someone does not view abortion or gay marriage "common sense". I guess emotion plays a role in all of our ideals.

  5. Such penetrating comments....

    I've said before, it's not about nookie. We took care of sodomy laws back in 2003 with Lawrence v. Texas. I'm talking about lifelong commitment. And where the government can't show a compelling state interest in standing in the way of that commitment, the Iowa Supreme Court says government, back off.

    And no, Firebird, I don't think this issue alone will win Obama his second term. It probably won't matter compared to a surging economy, consumer confidence, and more affordable health care. But the GOP's inability to talk about anything but what Anon 10:35 has on her/his mind will guarantee a Dem victory. Yahoo!

  6. I'm glad to see you are so happy. I'm sure you will then be using your great enthusiasm to maintain my right to bear arms! Afterall, its not about what types of firearms are available, its all about our rights to do what we want, when we want! Yahoo!!!! God bless a lifelong commitment for GUNS! The ultimate penetration.

  7. I don't think it's realistic to expect gay marriage to suddenly balloon into a bigger issue in national politics. It didn't with Massachusetts and it didn't with California. Besides, the republicans that win primaries are moderates anyway, like McCain, who didn't really exploit the social issues as much as, say, Huckabee.
    Anyhow, I think refusing to debate for a constitutional amendment is grossly unfair. The Iowa judiciary has in essence modified the law with this decision, and the legislature needs to have a chance to adequately respond.
    Disagreeing with a gay marriage ban is one thing, but refusing to even debate it because "I don't think that's so wrong." shows overconfidence in one's own opinions and arrogance toward other points of view.
    Too bad Iowa doesn't have the referendum.

  8. Except in this case 'refusing to debate' is part of the Iowa political process. It's not a matter of not talking about an issue. If Iowans have a problem with it, they can vote the Democratic majority out. Does it talk a little longer than putting an amendment on the South Dakota ballot? Of course. But I think there's a pretty good argument to be made that basically cutting the equal protection clause out of your state Constitution shouldn't be easy.

  9. Refusing to debate means that the politicians never have to take a stand on the issue and there is no press coverage.
    If the voters want to make a statement about gay marriage, how do then do they know which politicians to vote out?

    Refusing to debate dismisses it as a non-issue, which it is not.

    You are correct, Kelsey, that if Iowans have a problem with it they should vote out the Democratic majority. I believe they should have a problem with it.

  10. You must be joking, what surging economy?

  11. ...the surging economy we'll have by 2012. Patience, Firebird.

  12. For a surging economy we need to have a good educational system. President Obama likes the idea of merit pay, even though the teachers union hates it. Now, Cory I know you would never hide behind your union. So study real hard, I would just hate to see you go.

  13. How does voting out the Dems in Iowa fix a judicial decision on gay marriage? I don't think that's so easy when the ship has sailed by a stupid judicial ruling by 2 or 3 judges.

    And the pro aborts (sorry, spin it anyway you want, if you aren't prolife, you are pro abort) took the partial birth abortion ban to court and got it reversed in one state which effectively neutralized the ban. That's what I mean by pro aborts going to the courts or feds.

  14. And I'm not quit believing that good ole O's and Geitner's plans for the economy are going to have us all thriving by the next election. He actually wants us to lower our standard of living and economy in order to bring up all the third world. How does that improve us?

  15. [Oooo, Anon 7:54, wrong call: I belong to no union, never have.]

    [Oooo, Anon 8:03, you forget: I am pro-life. No one is pro-death. Your labels are silly.]

    And Anon 8:03, what's wrong with using the courts to uphold justice and the Constitution? That's perfectly consisten behavior. I'm just pointing out the irony that the conservatives who say they hate big government sure like big government when it does their bidding. That's why the GOP will decline: they have no consistent message.

    Anon 8:05: feel free to offer evidence of the ills you wish were true to justify your worldview.

  16. 'tchard, have you been following Iowa media since Friday? If your argument is that a lack of official legislative debate means we don't know where Iowa legislators stand, and that there's not public debate about the issue, I think that's a bit off-base.

    Anon 8:03: I think Kelsey was referring to the fact that Democratic majorities are keeping/have kept Republican attempts at a marriage amendment at bay, and that if people don't like it, they can vote the Dems out, put Republicans in power, and get an amendment. Not that that scenario is likely.

    And for the record, we're not talking a ruling by 2 or 3 judges, we're talking a unanimous ruling by 7 justices. It wasn't even close--Polk County could not convince *one* of them that continuing to prevent some couples from being married was legit.

  17. Sorry, when a majority of the people in a state approve a decision, that holds more water with me than what even seven single people, regardless of whether they are justices or not, decide. In my mind, the will of the majority of voters reflects the actual views of the people, and that is what should be upheld. Justices all are human, have their biases, and are free to interpret the constitution to their liking (after all, that is what Obama said they should do) and I trust the people more than a few justices.

  18. I suggest everyone read Ken Blanchards blog "Gay marriage, citizenship, courts, and democracy. Ken offers some intelligence on this matter. Cory, your understanding of truth is the same as Bill Clinton's. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". You merely say what is convenient at that given time. To say Republicans are anti-govenment is stereotyping and shameful. I'm Republican, I'm not anti-government. I just want an honest government where everyone is expected to come to the game ready to play. Not merely there for the free barbecue. I suggest you apologize to all Republicans NOW!

  19. It's not stereotyping: it's an accurate representation of the rhetoric the party has generally used to sell itself at the polls... and rhetoric which its leaders often abandon when convenient. If you, Anon, can straighten out your party and get it to enunciate and consistently follow some principles, you might stand a chance of winning back the White House. But the hard tack right on gay marriage and other issues will further marginalize the GOP. That's not stereotyping; that's an honest assessment of what will shake down politically in 2012.


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