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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Gronstal: No gay marriage vote in 2010

By Jason Hancock | 12.31.09 | 12:01 am

There will be no vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage during the 2010 legislative session, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said in an interview with The Iowa Independent.

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs (file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs (file photo)

Republicans may try to force a vote on an amendment, the Democrat from Council Bluffs said, but he will not allow any bill banning same-sex marriage to come to the floor.

“I will not write discrimination into the constitution of the State of Iowa,” Gronstal said. “I’m going to block that at every opportunity. There will be no vote on the constitutional amendment.”

Republican legislative leaders have said repeatedly that they will work to ensure a vote on same-sex marriage takes place during the session. Republican state Sen. Merlin Bartz of Grafton, who garnered headlines earlier this year when he called for local officials to ignore the state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, told the Mason City Globe-Gazette that he will sponsor the marriage amendment in the Senate.

In the closing days of the 2009 legislative session, Republicans in both the House and Senate attempted numerous procedural moves in the hopes of forcing a vote on an amendment, including attaching it to a tax proposal and the state’s Health and Human Services budget. Democrats successfully blocked the efforts.

But now Republicans will have an entire legislative session to work with, causing some to fear progress on other issues, such as fixing the state’s ballooning budget deficit, will come to a screeching halt.

Gronstal said he can’t control what his Republican colleagues do. But on this issue and many others the General Assembly will be faced with that could slow down the process, his message remains the same: the session will end in 80 days.

“It doesn’t get any easier to say ‘no’ to people the fourth time,” Gronstal said. “Why not say ‘no’ to them right off the bat, say it once and mean it.”

In order to become a constitutional amendment, a bill must pass two General Assemblies and then be put on the ballot for the public. If Republicans are unable to pass a ban this year, the earliest it could go before the public would likely be 2014.

In 2004, the Senate barely rejected a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on a 25-24 vote, with four Republicans joining all 21 Democrats to kill the measure. The next year, the Republican controlled Iowa House passed a gay marriage ban, but an evenly divided Senate never took up the bill.

Now, Democrats have a commanding 32-18 edge in the Senate, making the chances of Republicans succeeding in passing a marriage ban very unlikely.

“I think Iowans want us to focus on the budget and what we can do to create good-paying jobs. So that’s what we’re going to focus on,” Gronstal said. “This is one of those issues that is generational. Overall, if you look at the public’s reaction to the decision, if you’re under the age of 35 you probably don’t care that much about the issue. I think people fighting this are on the wrong side of history.”

Gronstal said the issue comes down to whether the state should recognize two people who “simply want to profess their love for each other. It’s hard for me to get worked up about something like that.”

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Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/slincoln W Scott Lincoln

    Mike Gronstal: An Iowa Civil Rights Hero!

  • desmoinesdem

    So, so glad he is our Senate leader and not Kibbie.

  • normahalverson

    Who in the heck does Sen Gronstal think he is? He is suspose to represent the people of Iowa. This issue should have been voted on by the people in the first place and it wasn't. People are really getting fed up with what is going on. The Iowa constitution should have been followed and it wasn't.
    Thank You for listening.
    Norma

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=69202642 facebook-69202642

      The constitution was followed. The supreme court said, when they drafted their unanimous opinion, that they have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law. 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 was founded.

      In other words, separate is not equal. The Iowa constitution guarantees equal protection under the law for all citizens of Iowa

      • normahalverson

        I beg to differ with you. This should have been voted on by the people of Iowa. Go back and read what the Iowa and the Federal Constitutions say. The gays and lesbian people are equal now. There is such a thing as a civil union. We need to start teaching the Federal and State constitutions in our schools.

  • kateohanlanmd

    The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individual’s ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

    From the American Psychological Asociation: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

    America’s premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality. There is no further reason to discriminate, except ignorance or bigotry. Think of what you would want for yourself or your your family.

  • kateohanlanmd

    Sexual orientation is similar to left-handedness: it is biological, and unchangeable, and innocent. We used to think that left-handed was evil (the actual Latin word for left is “sinister”), and force left-handed kids to use only their right hand for writing, even though they never really changed. Finally that stopped, and we let them be.

    According to all the scientific reports, variable hormonal levels in the first trimester permanently affect a child's neural circuitry for sexual orientation and gender identity: a little more testosterone in fetal girls' brains from an adrenal condition can cause up to 50% to be lesbian, and 10% to be transgender. Similarly, sharing the womb with a boy co-twin (the amniotic fluid has some of his testosterone in it) causes up to 15% of girl co-twins to be lesbian. These girls also have the bone structure and physical coordination of boys, so they are good in sports.

    A little less testosterone for little boys brains from mother's blocking antibody generated by having multiple older brothers causes up to 15% of boys to be gay. These boys also have the physiology and verbal skills more like girls, so they are good in language and visual arts.

    It is all innocent. (Recall that pedophilia is a “learned proclivity” that children who were molested learn to do.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=69202642 facebook-69202642

    The constitution was followed. The supreme court said, when they drafted their unanimous opinion, that they have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law. 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 was founded.

    In other words, separate is not equal. The Iowa constitution guarantees equal protection under the law for all citizens of Iowa

  • normahalverson

    I beg to differ with you. This should have been voted on by the people of Iowa. Go back and read what the Iowa and the Federal Constitutions say. The gays and lesbian people are equal now. There is such a thing as a civil union. We need to start teaching the Federal and State constitutions in our schools.

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