Thursday, April 23, 2009

‘This Place’ of common sense

When the Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state’s constitution requires that same-sex couples have the right to civil marriage, the result was predictable: Far right christianists crawled out from under their rocks to try and peddle their campaigns of lies, hatred and bigotry. They're determined to attack the rights of GLBT Iowans and will stop at nothing to end liberty and religious freedom in that state.

Standing in their way is One Iowa, a group equally determined to prevent far right religious bigots from imposing their will on everyone else. One Iowa produced the ad above, an ad that speaks to core Midwestern values. It also correctly points out that the hate campaigns are being pushed by people from out of state.

I’m a native Illinoisan, and my state shares many of the values of its neighbour—not enough, obviously, but many. I’m hoping that my fellow Midwesterners can successfully fight off the haters and bigots. You know what? I think they can.


Roger Owen Green said...

Tennessee: Place without Common Sense

Arthur Schenck said...

I heard about that and was appalled. I've been to Tennessee (actually, the first gay play I saw was in Memphis), so I can understand how it can be so backward. But that doesn't make it right.

Ken Anderson said...

Hi Arthur. I'm an Iowan who has been loosely following your blog ever since we decided to escape Iowa for the shores of NZ. Our plane leaves at the end of June and we've rented a place on the Kapiti Coast.

I've had a ringside seat to the gay marriage uproar over the last few weeks as I work next to the state capitol. While I am proud of Iowa for allowing gay marriage, I am afraid it may be short lived. The opposition is strong and lobbying hard for new legislation. Sadly groups like One Iowa seem outnumbered at this point. Hopefully the courts decision will be upheld and Iowa can continue on its path towards equality.

Arthur Schenck said...

Hi, Ken—thanks for commenting! The out of state far-right christianists will certainly do anything and everything to try and end marriage equality in Iowa. Their latest tactic is to urge state employees to defy the law—and their legal obligations—and refuse to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Still, I think that Midwesterners are capable of turning the tide—if they want to.

Oddly enough, most of the expat Americans I know are in the Wellington area, including the Kapiti Coast. But there aren't many of us anywhere, really.