Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
A judge ruled yesterday that a landmark case challenging California’s gay marriage ban will be shown on YouTube. This is excellent news. Our courts should be open to the people — especially in high profile landmark cases such as this.
As a former Iowan, I remain seriously interested in Iowa politics — especially now that I consider Iowa the New New York with its progressive stance on gay marriage — allowing it — and by handing over a historic caucus win to Barack Obama.
Iowa is one the tiny handful of states to allow gay marriage. The leading voice for LGBT rights on this issue is an NFP group called One Iowa. I spoke with One Iowa Communications Director, Justin Uebelhor this morning about the pending case in California.
“We support the California case and have a lot of respect [for Prop 8 Case hearing] to keep the momentum going,” Said Uebelhor.
The Prop 8 case in California comes on the heels of Iowa’s Legislature returning to session next Monday, January 11th. As it turns out, according to Uebelhor, the leading opponents to gay marriage in Iowa -The Iowa Family Policy Center – are gearing up for a protest the day that Iowa Governor, Chet Culver gives his State of the State address. IFPC is pushing for an up or down vote to amend the Iowa Constitution to ban gay marriage, like Prop 8.
And, as it turns out, the IFPC is connected to the national group Focus On The Family and the National Organization on Marriage. I did a little digging on NOM and found out they spent almost $90K on an Iowa State house race in the last election. Luckily, the NOM candidate was defeated. The National Association for Marriage recently made news in Rhode Island after the veto override regarding domestic partner death rights.
The good news about the push back from the Right-Wing Christian groups is that in order for an issue to even be put on the ballot in Iowa, a bill must be introduced and passed by both houses over two consecutive sessions. But don’t let that lull you into a state of comfortable ease. The Right-Wingers are nothing if not patient and persistent.