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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.

Four Democrats join push for vote on gay marriage

By Jason Hancock | 02.15.10 | 5:00 am

Four Democratic state senators — Dennis Black of Newton, Keith Kreiman of Bloomfield, Rich Olive of Story City and Joe Seng of Davenport — broke with their party and signed on to a Republican petition to force a vote on same-sex marriage.

Creative Commons photo by slaup via Flick

Creative Commons photo by slaup via Flick

But with last week marking the first self-imposed legislative “funnel week” deadline for bills to clear committee to stay eligible for consideration this year, the marriage amendment is officially dead, at least in this form.

Last week, Republicans attempted to use a procedural move, called a discharge petition, to pull Senate Joint Resolution 2001 out of committee and put it before the full Senate for debate and a vote. The bill would begin the process of amending the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. All 18 Senate Republicans were joined by Democratic state Sen. Tom Hancock of Epworth in signing the petition.

A similar attempt was made in the state House that also failed to find enough votes to bring a gay marriage ban up for a vote.

In the next few days, Black, Kreiman, Olive and Seng signed on, bringing the total to 23, just three votes short of the majority needed to force a vote on a constitutional ban on gay marriage in the Senate. Twenty-eight Democratic Senators refused to sign on.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, has repeatedly vowed to block any effort to bring a ban on same-sex marriage up for discussion, telling The Iowa Independent before the legislative session began that he would “block that at every opportunity. There will be no vote on the constitutional amendment.”

On the day the petition was introduced, Republican leadership in both legislative chambers seemed to concede defeat, with Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley, R-Chariton, saying the issue would now be decided by “the voters this November.” A recent Des Moines Register Iowa Poll found 62 percent of Iowans felt lawmakers have more important things to worry about than same-sex marriage.

Even though the marriage amendment is technically dead, it could still remain an issue if Republicans go down a similar path as they did in the closing weeks of the 2009 legislative session. House Republicans made numerous attempts to tack a constitutional amendment on to other bills last year. The two most high profile involved State Rep. Chris Rants, R-Sioux City.First, he attempted to attach the same-sex marriage ban to the state’s Health and Human Services budget, but the move was ruled out of order.

He then attempted to insert language in a Democratic tax proposal that would have defined a married couple as “a man and a woman” for the purposes of the state’s tax code. That effort also failed.

Bryan English, a spokesman for the conservative group Iowa Family Policy Center, said Democratic leadership who are blocking a vote on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage will suffer the consequences, both electorally this fall and in the afterlife.

“Anyone who has read the Bible knows that while individual battles will continue, the ultimate outcome of the spiritual war was settled long ago by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” he said in a statement. “When the current political debate over marriage is viewed through the lens of eternity, politicians like Mike Gronstal and [Senate President] Jack Kibbie need to understand that they’ve already lost.”

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Comments

  • jove4015

    Right on, Bryan English. Heck, why do we even have legislatures? Why not just refer to the bible for our entire code of ethics and toss the constitution out the window, and while we're at it, let's name the heads of all the mainstream Christian churches in America the heads of state and let them decide all court cases, laws and political questions. After all, it's worked so great for Iran and Saudi Arabia. Who needs democracy when Jesus died on the cross 2000 years ago and already told us everything we should be doing? But ohh… there's a problem. Jesus never said *anything* about gay people, or abortions, at all! Damn. There goes that idea.

  • givesthanks

    As one who has been in relationship with her partner for nearly 31 years, I am grateful to the State of Iowa for providing us the opportunity to be legally married. Iowa is on the map now as a state that truly understands the separation of church and state (upon which our great country was founded). It's good to know that if I have to go to the hospital (and we happen to be in Iowa), my spouse will have no problem visiting me or making decisions for me if I am not able. Why would any of these politicians trying to undo marriage equality in Iowa be against that? As jove4015 rightly points out in his or her comments, Jesus said NOTHING about this topic in the Bible. Jesus did say, however, that we should love one another. For those in the Iowa legislature who claim to care what the Bible says, why do they choose to ignore this? And isn't their time better spent on issues that will help their fellow citizens, rather than on this? Anyway, my thanks to Iowa for being a civilized beacon of light in the Midwest.

  • dakotahgeo

    I tire of these bible-bloated chris-chuns who never cease to pick and choose their “points of interest” against GLBT people. The hypocrites are bleating sheep who constantly put others down with their quoting Scripture in their favor.Our country and states have more problems than ever to solve, and these blokes are worried about who marries who or who sleeps with who.
    And my afterlife is absolutely secure with my Savior, forever, in heaven, Mr. English. Is yours?

    Dakotahgeo, M. Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • givesthanks

    As one who has been in relationship with her partner for nearly 31 years, I am grateful to the State of Iowa for providing us the opportunity to be legally married. Iowa is on the map now as a state that truly understands the separation of church and state (upon which our great country was founded). It's good to know that if I have to go to the hospital (and we happen to be in Iowa), my spouse will have no problem visiting me or making decisions for me if I am not able. Why would any of these politicians trying to undo marriage equality in Iowa be against that? As jove4015 rightly points out in his or her comments, Jesus said NOTHING about this topic in the Bible. Jesus did say, however, that we should love one another. For those in the Iowa legislature who claim to care what the Bible says, why do they choose to ignore this? And isn't their time better spent on issues that will help their fellow citizens, rather than on this? Anyway, my thanks to Iowa for being a civilized beacon of light in the Midwest.

  • dakotahgeo

    I tire of these bible-bloated chris-chuns who never cease to pick and choose their “points of interest” against GLBT people. The hypocrites are bleating sheep who constantly put others down with their quoting Scripture in their favor.Our country and states have more problems than ever to solve, and these blokes are worried about who marries who or who sleeps with who.
    And my afterlife is absolutely secure with my Savior, forever, in heaven, Mr. English. Is yours?

    Dakotahgeo, M. Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • Anonymous

    So much for freedom of/from religion. That civil liberties should be curtailed, not just by mythology, but by mythology that says that the greatest commandment was to love thy neighbor, and treat others as you would be treated? Here’s an Old Testament thought: how about, for every gay couple prevented from marrying, a proportionate number of straight people are also prevented from marrying? How’s that for ‘an eye for an eye?’ If marriage itself is banned, there’d be no discrimination; a marriage ban for everyone may be constitutional, whereas a marriage ban only for some, at the whim of a borderline majority, is not.

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