Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mind Your Own F*cking Business

So here's the scenario: Not a day passes from the decision in Varnum v. O'Brien before I'm getting emails from relatives in other states urging me to write my legislators in support of an amendment to block gay marriage. Annoying, but not unexpected. Thing is, this email contained a link to a site designed to send an email for you. How handy. (Insert sarcasm here). Here's the text pulled from the site:

Iowa Marriage Amendment

Following the decision of the Iowa Supreme Court ruling Iowa marriage laws unconstitutional, the only recourse is for the legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to be voted on by all Iowans.

We've identified key Iowa House members who need to be reminded that marriage belongs to all Iowans -- not just 7 judges in black robes.

Please use the form below to send these legislators an email urging them to vote yes on the motion to bring HJR 6 to a floor vote before the session ends on May 1st.

Then urge friends and family in Iowa to send a message, too!

Shomshor, Paul (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 100 , IA
Steckman, Sharon (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 013 , IA
Kuhn, Mark (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 014 , IA
Quirk, Brian (Democrat) - Assistant Minority Leader , Iowa House District 015 , IA
Beard, John (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 016 , IA
Kelley, Doris (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 020 , IA
Burt, Kerry (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 021 , IA
Berry, Deborah (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 022 , IA
Ficken, Gene (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 023 , IA
Thomas, Roger (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 024 , IA
Bukta, Polly (Democrat) - Speaker Pro Tempore of the House , Iowa House District 026 , IA
Murphy, Patrick (Democrat) - Speaker of the House , Iowa House District 028 , IA
Zirkelbach, Ray (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 031 , IA
Bell, Paul (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 041 , IA
Huser, Geri (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 042 , IA
Smith, Mark (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 043 , IA
Heddens, Lisa (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 046 , IA
Miller, Helen (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 049 , IA
Petersen, Janet (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 064 , IA
Ford, Wayne (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 065 , IA
Abdul-Samad, Ako (Democrat) - House Assistant Majority Leader , Iowa House District 066 , IA
McCarthy, Kevin (Democrat) - House Majority Leader , Iowa House District 067 , IA
Frevert, Marcella (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 007 , IA
Mascher, Mary (Democrat) - Minority Whip , Iowa House District 077 , IA
Mertz, Dolores (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 008 , IA
Reichert, Nathan (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 080 , IA
Thede, Phyllis (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 081 , IA
Gayman, Elesha (Democrat) - House Assistant Majority Leader , Iowa House District 084 , IA
Marek, Larry (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 089 , IA
Bailey, McKinley (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 009 , IA
Whitaker, John (Democrat) - House Assistant Majority Leader , Iowa House District 090 , IA
Swaim, Kurt (Democrat) - Representative , Iowa House District 094 , IA
Reasoner, Michael (Democrat) - House Assistant Majority Leader , Iowa House District 095 , IA

Dear (name):

I am writing to urge your support for HJR 6, the constitutional amendment on marriage. Specifically, I am urging you to vote yes on the amendment to bring HJR 6 to a floor vote before the end of this year's legislative session.

The recent decision from the Iowa Supreme Court makes one thing crystal clear: We can't leave marriage in the hands of 7 judges. It's time that the people of Iowa had a chance to have a say in the matter of defining our most basic social structure.

There is no doubt about the views of Iowans on the matter. In a recent Hawkeye Poll, fewer than 30% of Iowa voters supported same-sex marriage.

In 30 out of 30 states where voters have had a chance to vote on marriage, they have spoken loudly and clearly: Marriage is the union of a husband and wife.

Marriage is too important to leave in the hands of a few judges. Please support a constitutional amendment to protect marriage -- and bring it to the floor for a vote yet this year so we can get the process started

You will receive an email confirming that your message was sent. Check the box if you would also like to receive a copy of this letter.

Thing is, all my out-of-state relatives have already gone to the site, clicked on the "send message" button and sent this email to their (?) Iowa legislators. The Connecticut branch, the California branch, the North Carolina contingent, the Illinoisians, they've all contacted Iowa legislators (but only the Democrats - interesting) to tell them what Iowans think. Really?

May I politely say that it none of the rest of the nation's d*mn business what the Iowa constitution states on this issue? Yeah, I know, you have laws recognizing other state's marriages. So, theoretically, Iowa's recognition of gay marriage could backdoor it (pun not necessarily intended) into your state. So write your own fracking legislators and get those laws changed. Keep out of our business.

Many papers are predicting a mass invasion of these carpetbagging meddlers who know so much better than we do what our law should be. Frankly, I'm not incredibly worried. Iowans have always had a large dose of "get the f*ck out of my face" when being told what we should do. I'm not certain where the majority of Iowans will fall on this issue - polls seem to indicate that most favor some sort of civil union, but I'm not sure if "civil marriage" is too divisive a term (the opinion explicitly protects the right of religious institutions not to perform a marriage ceremony for same-sex couples on the grounds of religious freedom). Regardless, it will be Iowans who decide the issue, not some Mormon enclave from Utah. And while I'm sure most Iowans will be far more polite than I in saying to the rest of the country "Mind your own f*cking business," that's what nearly of them will be thinking.

From the Iowa Courts website -
News Release

April 7, 2009


Steve Davis, Court Communications Officer, (515) 725-8058

Varnum v. Brien: Effective Date of Decision

Des Moines, April 7, 2009— Under the Iowa Court Rules, a decision of the supreme court takes effect on the date the court issues procedendo, which normally occurs twenty-one days after an opinion is filed, unless a petition for rehearing has been filed. In the case of Varnum v. Brien, the twenty-one day period ends on April 24—a day that all court offices are closed because of budget cuts. Consequently, unless a petition for rehearing is filed in this case, the court will likely issue procedendo on Monday, April 27.

Iowa Supreme Court
1111 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319

From the Gazette this morning:
Your View poll results for April 8

We asked today: Do you think the Iowa Legislature should debate a constitutional amendment on same-sex marriage this session?

Here's what you said:

YES: 39.2 percent
NO: 60.8 percent

No. of votes: 896

Caveats: It's not exactly a high volume poll. They should've publicized a little better, I hadn't heard of it. With such a small sample size, I don't think it can be considered scientifically accurate even setting aside the bias involved with having participants contact the pollster instead of vice versa. However, I do think it's worth noting.

From the Gazette this morning:
Your View poll results for April 11

We asked today: Do you think Iowa legislators should allow voters to decide whether to amend the state Constitution regarding the right to same-sex marriage?

Here's what you said:

YES: 58.2 percent
NO: 41.8 percent

No. of votes: 471

Slightly different question, much smaller sample size, different slant. It'll be interesting to watch this all develop.

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