Please excuse the unintended dry spell of posts; I had an unexpected bout of carpal tunnel, and on the heels of that a sick child, and Dan’s attempt to post a large update was eaten by WordPress. But in the spirit of “better late than never,” here’s a link/news round-up for the past few days.
The big news is that Republicans keep attempting to force an amendment vote through any means necessary, including a push yesterday to attach the amendment to another bill (which did not get voted on). Interestingly enough, this push was not reported in any internet news sources I could find. During a rally at the statehouse Monday, Vander Plaats has put himself center stage against opponents of equal marriage, vowing that if he were governor he would immediately put a stay on all same-sex marriages, something which many have come forward to explain that a governor does not, in fact, have the power to do. Tuesday Sen. Merlin Bartz tried to push a “conscience clause” which would allow county recorders to refuse to issue licenses if they object to gay marriage, a precedent which I will say, personally, makes my blood run cold. This failed, as have all other attempts, but it is also clear that until this session closes, Republicans will do whatever they can and on a daily basis to block marriage equality.
Across the country, however, marriage equality continues to attempt to expand; Governor Paterson of New York will introduce a Same-Sex marriage bill, according to the New York Times. Washington State’s legislature expanded same-sex partnerships Wednesday. Rick Warren is everywhere in the news as well, going out of the way to assure people he did not support or campaign for Proposition 8, despite Youtube evidence that he did. Responses from our neighbors, meanwhile, continue to center around surprise but are overall supportive.
I’ve found it interesting how many national articles are springing up to point out that the next phase in gay rights may very well be the phasing out. The Washington Post reported that Love Makes a Family in Connecticut is closing its doors and declaring, essentially, “mission accomplished.” The article points out that the LGBT movement has been on for so long–and overall battered for so long–that it may be difficult for some communities to transition out of defense and into the mainstream world of equal rights. With the passage of Proposition 8 and the battle still going strong in many states, and the clear intent to continue challenging equality in Iowa, clearly it isn’t quite time to board the aircraft carrier for good. However, this is a good point, that ultimately the goal of these marriage equality groups is to put themselves out of business.
This clearly can’t happen, however, until the dust settles on conservative fears that their rights will be taken away, and until the federal government follows the lead of the increasing number of equality-minded states, something which is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Here in Iowa, we continue to have a clear sight of a long, likely unpleasant struggle before us. However, at this moment equality is playing offense, not defense. We have the ball. And everyone who’s ever played high school basketball knows what you do with the ball at the end of the fourth quarter: you hold your ground, keep calm, and wait out the clock.