Essay:A Constitutional Amendment in Iowa
Understanding Iowa's Supreme Court Decision, and the Right Wing Reaction.
On April 3rd, Iowa became the third state in the US to legalize gay marriages. The mandate from the Iowa Supreme Court will go into effect the 27th of April. As with the Mass "unions" before, as well as the California marriages, it is expected that many couples, Iowan and not, who just happen to share the same reproductive organs, will flock to their local Clerk & Recorder for a license, and in due course, find themselves legally married.
But hold on, there is always a Christian Right Wing "let's stick our nose in your business" group to have their way on everything. And, hardly unexpectedly, the Right Wing Christian Blowhards are saying that they want to create a constitutional amendment to Iowa's constitution, nullifying the marriages and denying gays the right to marry the person of their choice (unless of course they choose 'correctly' and get themselves into a het marriage. oh how drole).
Many of us like to think of the Right as simple minded fools, and cite such examples as Bush, and Andy. But the reality is that the right does indeed watch and learn, and improve their attacks each and every time they do this.
California had serious debacles, mostly including funding of the advertisements and alliances - yet even with that, the "anti gay marriage" amendment passed.
But, it was a faulty amendment. By distinction, it was what is often called (in Colorado, anyhow) a additive amendment, or a constructive amendment (rather than the more accurate but really ugly sounding "amendment to an amendment) which effectively simply changes what is already amended to a Constitution. Consequently, the California Supreme Court will likely rule (is in the process of ruling) that the amendment does not change the more fundamental aspects of the Constitution that require Equal Protection.
The amendment in Iowa will make no such failures of foresight, and will be "overturnable-proof" as it were.
First, it will strike from the Iowa constitution, references to gay's being a protected minority class. Second, it will strike from the constitution any amendment or language about marriage at all. Third, it will re-write the Constitution as a redactive amendment, something that directly addresses all of the Supreme Court's well placed language, carefully laid out language. It will be specific, detailed, and deliberate in its breadth leaving none of the problematic language that may well overturn CA's Prop 8.
If you are an Iowa citizen, or know an Iowa citizen... write your house and senate and tell them that we as a country, and you as a state have far more pressing issues to worry about then two men or two women who are in love, being given legal recognition in the state. Tell them that discrimination is not healthy for the world, and that we are ready to move forward on this issue, giving people who cannot hurt "us straights" with their legal vows of "I do".
The right is already starting the letter writing campaign. Don't let them be the only ones to have a voice!