By Emily Geiger
I’m sure many of you have seen the ad promoting gay marriage from One Iowa, a gay activist group formed here in Iowa… well kind of… we’ll get to that in a minute.
For those of you who haven’t seen the ad, here is the script and the ad.
There is a quiet strength that comes from this land and its people.
Change happens, as in the passing of the seasons, but some things remain the same.
People came to this place from many lands, spoke different languages, held different beliefs, but they all held one hope in common… that in his place, they could find freedom.
Our Supreme Court has made a decision against discrimination in favor of freedom. The justices were not divided. They were unanimous in holding up a tradition, that the constitution of Iowa is meant to protect our freedoms.
This will not change religions marriage, or how each religion defines that. It does protect civil marriage for same sex couples and protects the freedoms of all committed couples
And to those outsiders who want to put discrimination into our constitution, shame on them. This is a place where people are respected and a time to protect the freedoms we share.
We’re One Iowa, and that’s why we’re proud to have paid for this message.
A few things about this jump out at me.
First, I find it a little ironic that this group is now taking it to the people and trying to get public support for their position when they have done everything they could up until this point to keep the public from having a voice on this issue. If they really gave a rat’s ass about what the people of Iowa thought, they would have worked to repeal Iowa Defense of Marriage Act through legislative efforts (which they refused to do), or they would have worked to put in place a pro-same-sex marriage amendment, which would require a vote of the people, which they also have not done.
What this ad really says is, “Guess what?!? We just crammed gay marriage down your throats by force, and now we’re going to come into your living rooms every night and tell you that you’re okay with that. And not only are you going to be okay with that, you’re going to like it. And if you don’t, shame on you!”
This is their version of Mary Poppins… a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but not in the most delightful way.
The second thing that jumped out at me is that this is another example of liberal revisionist history. This ad tries to make it sound like this movement for gay marriage in Iowa came right out of Iowa’s own grassroots, but now it’s the evil “outsiders” who are trying to “put discrimination into our constitution.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
It was Tim Gill, an “outsider” from Colorado who has been spending million in our state to try to shape the legislature to make it more gay-friendly.
It was Camilla Taylor, an “outsider” gay-rights lawyer from Illinois who travelled to Iowa frequently over the last seven years “ laying the groundwork” for the court case here in Iowa.
Taylor soon went about laying the groundwork. She and her colleagues crisscrossed Iowa meeting gay and lesbian couples and organizing workshops and panels on issues that concerned them. She usually spoke as part of a panel that might include community members or the parents of a gay or lesbian child. Her colleagues did the same.
Sometimes it was lonely in those early days, Taylor recalled. At one event, just seven people showed up.
Hmmm… not exactly an outcry from the grassroots. How about these “One Iowa” people? I’m sure they’ve been around for a long time advocating for gay marriage in Iowa, right? Um, no.
“There wasn’t a strong local group that would be the go-to group for organizing a campaign for marriage equality,” said Sharon Malheiro, who founded the group One Iowa shortly after Taylor filed suit on behalf of the six couples.
But Iowans really wanted this, right? I mean, we’re so progressive and all. What? What’s that you say? A Des Moines Register poll about a year ago said that 82% of Iowans support defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. So, I guess there wasn’t really any grassroots movement for gay marriage in Iowa.
You know, One Iowa is close to being right about one thing. There are outsiders involved in this, and they do deserve to be shamed.
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