Opinion in the News: Iowa House passes start of marriage amendment

The Iowa House recently commenced the beginning of what could be a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman despite the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2009 decision legalizing same-sex marriage. The amendment could not be put to a vote until as early as 2013, but the debate is still heating up throughout the state over the role and definition of marriage and family. The current slate of arguments that I have seen, in the Des Moines Register and elsewhere, against allowing a loving couple of the same sex to marry is weak and trifling, and I would like to offer a “refudiation” of many of them. Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you think I misrepresented the claims of pro-amendment Iowans. 1. The people of Iowa should be able to put this issue to a simple vote. For the people, by the people. There is a reason we have a judicial system for these types of situations: the citizens who understand the state and federal constitutions and laws are (hopefully) those who sit on the bench of the Supreme Court. In addition, a primary objective of government is to protect the rights of the minority from the will of the majority. 2. We need to leave the issue of marriage to God. This is easy. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” We should not and cannot make laws based on Christianity. Additionally, marriage as it is being debated is a function of the state, not of a religious institution–churches do not have to recognize same-sex marriages if they do not wish to. 3. Gay parents produce gay/delinquent/sociopathic children, and child-rearing should be left to ‘traditional’ marriage. Current research tends to disprove a strong link between LGBT parents and LGBT children. What matters more is parenting skill and quality–it doesn’t really matter if a child has one or two moms, it matters how well they are taught and treated. University of Iowa student Zach Wahls is receiving national attention for his speech to the Iowa House regarding his lesbian parents, which highlighted this exact concept. (One other thing–even if all gay parents raised gay children, what would be wrong with that? Are we trying to discourage gay children?) 4. I lost all respect for the homosexual community after I saw them on TV all half-naked at those gay pride parades. Jersey Shore is currently filming its fourth season, and yet heterosexuality remains legal. 5. Iowa will “become the gay marriage Mecca” [from U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Kiron)]. This comes back to the “flamboyant, obnoxious homosexual” ideal from number 4. The fact is that gay marriages are not gay pride parades. A wedding is a wedding, no matter the gender of those involved. Weddings help stimulate the local economy, and it’s a smart move economically to be the only state in middle America allowing a sizable sector of the population to marry. My cousin and her partner came down from St. Paul to marry last August, bringing a large wedding party with them to a Des Moines winery. I was out of state at the time, but I was told the paté was to die for. 6. I just hate how everyone’s trying to push the gay agenda. In fact, the “gay agenda” of allowing all citizens to marry has already been accomplished. The Supreme Court (again, the best judges in the state, and not a bunch of liberal hippies) ruled two years ago that it was unconstitutional to deny marriage rights to gay Iowans, and therefore settled the issue as deemed appropriate by our highest law. This current push is attempting to change that highest law to nullify its original intent, and, as Wahls put it, “codify discrimination into the Constitution.” 7. Gay marriage will undermine the sacred institution of marriage. My heterosexual marriage will be desecrated by it/The world will cease to exist. Homosexuals have been marrying in Iowa for one and a half years now. None of those things have happened. The truth is, marriage is still the state of Iowa recognizing two loving individuals’ commitment to one another. Love, we have seen here, transcends gender. Besides, as it has oft been put, heterosexuals have done a damned good job of undermining “the sacred institution of marriage” by themselves.