Iowa, A Great Place to Be From
By Doug Patton
April 13, 2009
On a bookshelf in my office sits a small, framed sign that reads, "I wasn't born in Nebraska, but I got here as fast as I could." I have never been more pleased with that decision than I am today, because the state in which I was born and raised has become the latest judicial laboratory for deviant social policy. In a unanimous vote last week, the Iowa Supreme Court created the "right" to same-sex marriage.
As is always the case, the voters had no direct say in the matter. Their state senators and representatives had acted responsibly on the matter several years ago by defining marriage as what it is - a union of one man and one woman. But that no longer matters in America, where we now live not in a representative republic but rather under a left-wing judicial oligarchy.
Just as the imperious, black-robed tyrants on the courts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and California did before them, the Iowa Supreme Court decided that they would arbitrarily redefine marriage for all Iowans. Obviously, the people of that state are too stupid to understand that perverse sexual behavior is not only a right, it must be sanctioned by society. Live and let live is no longer sufficient. Tolerance is not enough. Neither is approval. We must now promote this "lifestyle."
Nebraska dealt with this issue in 2000 by passing an amendment to the state constitution. Thanks in large part to a courageous woman and a dear friend in Nebraska's pro-family movement, that amendment is the most restrictive constitutional law in the land. It not only reinforces the traditional definition of marriage and refuses to recognize same-sex unions, it also forbids the legal recognition of domestic partnerships. It passed with 71 percent of the vote, because common-sense Nebraskans realize that counterfeit marriage by any other name is still counterfeit.
Iowans will exercise that same common sense - if they get the chance. Unfortunately, unlike Nebraska and California, both of which have a vigorous and active petition process, Iowa's political machinery is much more cumbersome. Amendments to that state's constitution must be passed by both houses of the state legislature in two consecutive general assemblies, each lasting two years, and then be approved by a simple majority of voters during a general election. That means, quite simply, that the people of the Hawkeye State could not even get the issue on the ballot until 2012 at the earliest. That gives homosexuals three years to turn Iowa into Vermont.
My old boss, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is fit to be tied. A pro-family conservative to the core, Congressman King said this week that, "The clarion call is going out to turn Iowa into a mecca for same-sex marriage in America. There will be tour groups set up to do this, and there will be a branch office in Berkeley. That's what this activist decision has done."
A former state senator himself who once sued Democrat Gov. Tom Vilsak in court (and won) over the issue of state hiring quotas for homosexuals, King is urging Iowa lawmakers to pass a residency requirement for people to marry in Iowa. That, he says, is the only quick way to shut off the inevitable influx of out-of-state gay couples.
Iowa's current governor, Democrat Chet Culver, said he would have to review the court's decision before announcing his views. Does that mean he doesn't know where he stands on the issue, or that he needs time to stick his finger into the political wind to determine his values? Let me give you a clue, governor: the people of Iowa hate this ruling, and they are sick of the tyranny your liberal friends have foisted upon this country through the courts.
I moved from Iowa to attend college in Nebraska. I met my wife here and married her forty years ago. We settled down and raised our children here, and now we are watching our grandchildren grow up here. I gripe and complain about taxes, the backward nature of the one-eyed legislature we call a "Unicameral" and a dozen other things. But today I must admit, I've never been prouder to be a Nebraskan.
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.