By Bryan English
The fact that nearly 70% of Iowa voters want the right to define marriage in the Iowa Constitution should come as no surprise to anyone. Thanks to the arrogance of the Iowa Supreme Court, and the impotence of both the Governor and the Legislature to do anything about it, the outrage among the public is tangible and only likely to increase. In an environment where people feel helpless to stop the government’s wholesale mortgaging of their children’s futures, free speech is being exchanged for hate crimes laws, and the moral foundation that was once the strength of a great nation is being systematically undermined, it is no wonder that everyday Americans are ready to take back the political power our founders gave us.
There is no guarantee that if the Iowa Marriage Amendment were to come to the people for a vote, that it would become a part of the Iowa Constitution. However, if the 30 other states that have passed marriage amendments to their constitutions are any indication, the vast majority of the nearly 70% of Iowans who want to vote on marriage would likely support passage of the amendment. In any case, the people of Iowa seem determined to send a message to their lawmakers and the courts. That message is clear, “You work for us,” and “we have the final say.”
Marriage is an institution that cannot be fundamentally redefined. Iowans intuitively know, as do most people, that marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman. If it were not for the long term implications to society of treating court-fabricated homosexual “marriages” as valid, the events of last April would be little more than a punch line to the Iowa jokes they tell in Minnesota. Unfortunately, the actions of the Iowa Supreme Court, in collusion with the Iowa Attorney General, perpetrated on the people of Iowa, and upon the Iowa Constitution, a breach not only of the obvious nature of marriage but also of the boundaries of the Constitutional separation of powers.
So, people who support one man, one woman marriage because they understand its important role in society, find themselves marching in lock step with Constitutional purists who might not otherwise be as motivated by the issue of marriage. Add to that the tea party movement and the general dissatisfaction among voters with an increasingly pompous political class, and what you have is a brewing political storm unlike anything in recent memory.
Much of the political establishment in Iowa has worked to create a perception that marriage is a back burner issue at best. The talking points from the a-moral political hacks working the Republican side of the street mirror those of the supporters of the sodomy caucus among the Democrats. They all want to focus on the economy and the budget. Well, the truth is, social conservatives didn’t create the economic problems, and they are not the cause of the budget woes. Credit for those problems lay squarely at the feet of the two groups working the hardest to use the economy to distract people from the marriage issue.
Last week’s TIR poll numbers on marriage indicate that the people of Iowa are not distracted, and that they are not confused about the work that needs to be done to restore the Constitutional separation of powers and the definition of marriage in Iowa. The political elites ought to stop and take notice.
Marriage will play a major role in the next election. It appears that anyone running for office in 2010 will need to find a way to distance themselves from the current political establishment if they want to win. As an added layer of security, current lawmakers might want to consider banning the public display of pitch forks and torches leading up to the next election.
Bryan English is the Director of Public Relations & Outreach at the Iowa Family Policy Center.
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