Daily Archives: April 3, 2009

Iowa Stubborn

Well there ain’t trouble in River City no more, unless you’re a Fundie or a Freeper:

Iowa became the first state in the Midwest to approve same-sex marriage on Friday, after the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously decided that a 1998 law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional.
The decision was the culmination of a four-year legal battle that began with a suit filed on behalf of six same-sex couples in the lower courts.
The Supreme Court said same-sex marriages could begin in Iowa in as soon as 21 days, making Iowa only the third state in the nation, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut, to legalize gay marriage.
Same-sex marriages will be permitted in Iowa for at least two years, because the legislative process required to overturn the ruling would take that long. A constitutional amendment would require the state legislature to approve a ban on same-sex marriage in two consecutive sessions after which voters would have a chance to weigh in. Despite opposition to the ruling by Republican lawmakers, Democrats, who control the legislature, have given no indication that they intend to introduce such an amendment.
Iowa has no residency requirement for getting a marriage license, which some suggest may mean a flurry of people from other states.
While the same-sex marriage debate has played out on both coasts, the Midwest — where no states had permitted same-sex marriage — was seen as entirely different. In the past, at least six states in the Midwest were among those around the country that adopted amendments to their state constitutions banning same-sex marriage.
“We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law,” the Iowa justices wrote in their opinion. “If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded.”
“The concept of equal protection, is deeply rooted in our national and state history, but that history reveals this concept is often expressed far more easily than it is practiced,” the court wrote.

SING OUT LOUISE!

And lest we forget —

“Iowa has enforced its constitution in a series of landmark court decisions, including those that struck down slavery (in 1839) and segregation (cases in 1868 and 1873), and upheld women’s rights by becoming the first state in the nation to allow a woman to practice law, in 1869.”

Quite a wild place Iowa. Full of all those San Francisco Values.

Leave us not forget how this all started — back in 2007

“Two male college students were married in the front yard of a Des Moines residence this morning. The couple — Tim McQuillan and Sean Fritz, both Iowa State University students — obtained a marriage license at the Polk County recorder’s office and got a judge to sign a waiver allowing them to marry today rather than wait three days, as is required by law. They were married by the Rev. Mark Stringer of First Unitarian Church in Des Moines at 10:32 a.m. Before the ceremony, Stringer said, ‘Awesome. It’s a long time coming.’ After the ceremony, he said, ‘They are now official. The marriage license is the official document.’ The couple is now headed to the Polk County Administration Building to file the marriage certificate.”

And here’s a report on today’s ruling —

Fascinating how Pete is so concerned with the losers in this court battle, speaking not of what has been won by how it might be overturned. And as any reporter work his/her salt can tell you the chances of that are highly unlikely.

So why should Pete of all people be such a Concern Troll?

According to his MSNBC profile. . .

“Pete Williams is an NBC News correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He has been covering the Justice Department and the U.S. Supreme Court since March 1993. Williams was also a key reporter on the Microsoft anti-trust trial and Judge Jackson’s decision.
Prior to joining NBC, Williams served as a press official on Capitol Hill for many years. In 1986 he joined the Washington, DC staff of then Congressman Dick Cheney as press secretary and a legislative assistant. In 1989, when Cheney was named Assistant Secretary of Defense, Williams was appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. While in that position, Williams was named Government Communicator of the Year in 1991 by the National Association of Government Communicators.
A native of Casper, Wyo. and a 1974 graduate of Stanford University, Williams was a reporter and news director at KTWO-TV and Radio in Casper from 1974 to 1985. Working with the Radio-Television News Directors Association, for which he served as a member of its board of directors, he successfully lobbied the Wyoming Supreme Court to permit broadcast coverage of its proceedings and twice sued Wyoming judges over pre-trial exclusion of reporters from the courtroom. For these efforts, he received a First Amendment Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.”

Remember Gulf War I ? Night after night Pete would stand in front of a blackboard with chalk and charts to explain to the easily-impressed media whores before him precisely what was going on to force Saddma’s army out of Kuwait and back to Iraq. Pete’s prominence drew the attention of the ever-intrepid Michelangelo Signorile, who not only knew that Pete is a Big Ol’ Gay Homosexual but had a summer share on Fire Island with Patient Less Than Zero and their respctive boyfriends du jour. Thanks to the hard work of the Gay Rights movment to which Pete was indifferent and Sully openyl histile, Pete’s job with Dick Cheney was protected. The gay and lesbain soldiers called up for Gulf War I were not. And in it’s wake were summarily sacked.
And so as Wikipedia notes

Signorile joined the The Advocate, soon after OutWeek folded in 1991, with a cover story that put him at the center of a firestorm over gays in the military as well as outing, when he outed then-assistant Secretary of Defense Pete Williams, under Defense Secretary Dick Cheney during George H.W.Bush’s administration. (Williams has since gone on to become a television journalist for NBC News). The outing caused Cheney to call the gay ban “an old chestnut” during an interview with Sam Donaldson on ABC, while then presidential candidate Bill Clinton, citing the outing, promised at a gay fundraiser to overturn the ban if he were elected president.

And that promise became “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” — the same old rancid wine served in a “new” bottle.
You can read all about Pete, “Gays in the Military” and much else in Mike’s book, Queer in America including the delicious details about those Fire Island holidays, tossed by Mike into Sully’s face back in 1992 at the first National Lesbian and gay Journalists Association confab in San Francisco. What a thrilling moment. Too bad there were no video cameras ot capture it. Like a collaboration between the George Cukor of The Women and the Jacques Rivette Out 1 I tell you!

Anyhoo, I hope Pete gets out of his current funk and joins the human race. There’s still time, brother.

Sing us out kids: