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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

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

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.

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Alan Light.
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Alan Light.

Hearing on gay marriage ban scheduled for today

By Jason Hancock | 01.24.11 | 8:30 am

An Iowa House subcommittee will begin the process of amending the state’s constitution to ban all legal recognition of same-sex relationships by holding the first hearing on House Joint Resolution 6 today at 1 p.m.

The legislation, which is co-sponsored by 56 of the 60 Republicans in the Iowa House, would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and any other legal recognition of same-sex couples. It aims to invalidate the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

The subcommittee that will meet today is made up Republicans Dwayne Alons and Chris Hagenow and Democrat Beth Wessel-Kroeschell. The full judiciary committee is scheduled to consider the bill today at 4 p.m. Republicans have a 12-9 advantage on the committee and a 60-40 majority in the full House.

While the marriage amendment is widely expected to pass the House, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has vowed to never allow such an amendment to come up for debate. Democrats still have a 26-24 majority in the Senate.

One Iowa, the state’s largest LGBT-rights organization, is asking opponents of the ban to rally at the Capitol and attend the subcommittee hearing. They are asking those in attendance to wear blue to “signify your support for equality.”

“We know our opposition will be out in force, and that’s why it’s so important to have you there,” the group said in a statement. “This is a critical opportunity to show collective opposition to writing discrimination into the constitution.”

Opponents of gay marriage are also hoping to rally today at the Capitol. Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, said in an e-mail last week that he will lead a prayer meeting before the subcommittee hearing. Hurley, who publicly advocates for laws prohibiting homosexual sex and has said same-sex relationships are a bigger threat to public health that second-hand smoke, said those who attend should bring gifts.

“Several of us plan to bring a token of Christian love (like a small bag of cookies or other treats) to share with homosexual activists who we’ll be encountering Monday,” Hurley said. “It’s time we dispel lies about Christians by tangibly showing love to people who struggle with homosexuality.”

The subcommittee will meet today at 1 p.m. in Room 305 of the State Capitol.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


  • Anonymous

    Kind of funny how all the people who campaigned on the economy and how they were going to fix it and now working on this. I guess that shows how they really have no idea on how to fix the economy and just want to divert attention from it. What’s with the cookie nonsense? Your working to deny a group of people equal justice under the law and you think giving them cookies will make you look like good people? The thought process here boggles the mind.

  • Greg Hauenstein

    How condescending and passive aggressive of Chuck Hurley. How about your token of love be leaving these committed couples alone? How about your token be shutting down your anti-equality efforts and focus on ACTUALLY strengthening families? Here are a couple ways you could do that:

    Marriage counseling, anger management counseling for perpetrators of domestic violence, food and clothing drives, home repair. You know, things Jesus Christ would have advocated for.

  • Flanoggin

    Um—dispel lies with cookies—yeah, that will work. Those silly gays will totally forget you are trying to push them back in the closet and destroy their families and lives, with cookies. Genius!

  • PolishBear

    Yes, nothing says Christian Compassion better than little bags of cookies!

    Iowa Family Policy Center says, “You can’t be allowed to marry, nor be protected from job discrimination, nor adopt children, nor die for your country in the military, nor be allowed to teach in public school, nor be allowed “civil unions” or any other legal protection … but here’s a little bag of cookies to show there’s no hard feelings!”

  • Anonymous

    Ok, ONE thing will have to me made clear. I do NOT STRUGGLE with homosexuality: I live it quite well, honestly, thank you very much. Such condescending comments should NOT be tolerated. If they really want to show Christian love, then they should do it by NOT taking away our civil rights. End of story. Christians will have to realize sooner or later that they cannot continue to impose their values everywhere they go and take away others’ rights simply because they don’t like LGBT individuals. Those living in Iowa MUST be outraged by this and MUST take the phone to let their representatives know that they will NOT let themselves be bullied in this way. And kudos to Mike Gronstal for standing for the civil rights for all.

  • Anonymous

    One has to wonder how the state of Iowa has degenerated to this level. Removing the rights of one group is just the first step to removing rights of everyone. We saw it happen this way in the late 1930s in Germany and now we’re seeing it in the US. Republicans seem determined to impost a “4th Reich” on the country step by step.

  • Anonymous

    Homosexuals wouldn’t be struggling if it weren’t for having to deal with an anti-gay culture. Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of grappling with being true to themselves or conforming (or committing suicide), our developing teens could just be accepted, accept themselves, and get back to normal teen angst like saving the world or asking someone to the dance?

    There’s something really appalling in anyone believing that handing out treats makes up for denigrating an entire way of life and denying any means of legal commitment to one’s beloved. How sick are these people? Seriously, if in their crazy heads equal rights and the covenant of marriage are only worth a cookie….shouldn’t we be stripping their rights away? I’ve got some cookies….

    I wish I were there. “Oh, a cookie in exchange for equal treatment under the law? Thank you! But on second thoughts, why don’t YOU keep the cookie, and in exchange, now you can’t vote. That seems the same, doesn’t it?”

  • W Scott Lincoln

    We hate you and any possible recognition of your relationships, but here, have a cookie.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Iowa,

    See you back in court.

    Iowa’s gay citizens

  • Homer Thiel

    So what do these cookie monsters plan on doing to the 2000+ same sex marriages that have taken place? Will those marriages be automatically ended?

    • Anonymous

      Those people get an EXTRA LARGE BAG OF COOKIES! And the consolation that they can still marry…as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex, and pretend it’s not a complete sham.

      After all, it’s better to be miserable and living a lie than expect recognition of a sincere devotion and commitment to your significant other, if, you know, you’re gay. And it’s only Christian to try to force you down that route.

  • Anonymous

    “…ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and any other legal recognition of same-sex couples”. So its not just about the institution of marriage. Shocker.

    Why don’t they just admit to being bigots and admit their goal is to take away all rights from homosexuals and force them back into the closet. Don’t claim you are protecting the constitution. I think a “true Christian” would at least want to tell the truth.

  • Anonymous

    Someone on here said “destroy their families”. Ok, I want someone to tell me how they produced children and have a family. Stupid Stupid Stupid. Why do we have to continually waste tax dollars, my tax dollars on fighting with people of alternative lifestyles? Why should I pay your medical bills when you when you get aids? Keep it to yourself, their is nothing natural about gay or lesbian. Even if I did not believe in God I would still believe that. Do as you choose but do not try to force your beliefs on me. And my children. Marriage is between a man and a woman. This is so basic, why are we even debating this issue? If you have a problem, talk to God not me, he set this world up the way it is and he knows better than all of us. Same sex attraction is a temptation, fight it with all your might mind and strength, you can beat it.

    • Anonymous

      wow- just wow…get a CLUE sherlock. Is your marriage that Dainty & Fragile..? People HAVE BEEN Marying for 2yrs in Iowa…..and HOW has it affected YOU? HUH..? How..? Please…do tell! As far as AIDS…ANYONE can GET AIDS..ANYONE! ..and Before you throw the Ol’ Sodomy card in to the ring…..look up its meaning…… cause NO doubt, YOU DO IT …all the time…or wish you would/or bargain with your spouse too do it……. You’re Pathetic,and have mental problems…seek therapy.

    • Anonymous

      “tell me how they produced children and have a family.” What about straight couples that cannot reproduce? Should we deny marriage to them?

      “their[sic] is nothing natural about [being] gay or lesbian.” False. Numerous studies have observed homosexual behavior in many different species of animals. Furthermore, brain scans in adult homosexuals show differences between them and heterosexuals in terms of brain structure. Every major psychological and psychiatric organization in America agrees that homosexuality is natural. If you’d like to refute that, by all means present your degree in psychology and maybe you’ll have credibility.

      “Do as you choose but do not try to force your beliefs on me.” We’re not. We just want to have the same legal rights as you do with the ones we love. YOU’RE the ones who are forcing your beliefs down our throats and trying to silence us.

    • Anonymous

      You idiot. You think getting married increases the risk of spreading HIV? I would think a committed, monogamous relationship would pretty obviously do the opposite.

      You are not going to be compelled to choose between being alone and marrying someone you aren’t even attracted to, much less in love with, no matter how much our Supreme Court defends others from your hate. Why would you think you have the right to limit others’ options to these unhappy choices?

      You can rest assured, no one will stop you from fighting temptation in yourself for all you’re worth.

    • George Hufnagl

      “If you have a problem, talk to God not me, he set this world up the way it is and he knows better than all of us.”

      “Even if I did not believe in God I would still believe that.”

      Despite the contradiction in these two sentences, I will take you at your word that your belief in these is of your own choosing and will, therefore, hold you solely responsible for your words.

      “Their is nothing natural about gay or lesbian.”

      This implies that homesexuality is a choice, so a question to ask is, “when did you choose to be a heterosexual man? – I assume man based on your handle.” If you have a clear response, please share with the rest of the class. If not.

      “Why should I pay your medical bills when you when you get aids?” Who’s bills are you paying, exactly and in what context would a bill for aids be sent to you?

      “Marriage is between a man and a woman. This is so basic, why are we even debating this issue?” Because your biblical references do not hold water in a constitution that does not favor one particular religion over another, for one. Secondly, the concept of marriage has changed throughout history, and it will continue to do so. With several characters in your favorite book having more than one wife to a woman being owned as property, why do we not recognize these as legal possibilities?

      A book recommendation, if I may:

      “Do as you choose but do not try to force your beliefs on me. And my children.” The same could be said of any such marital recognition (e.g. interracial marriage), so no one is forcing you to believe anything. It’s simple a means to bringing the disenfranchised up from second-class citizen treatment.

  • Anonymous

    CHUCK HURLEY has been busted with TWO ESCORTS. We have the encounters on video and will be releasing it soon, as soon as we talk with counsel. These are illegal acts that show him clearly paying for the promise of sex with two young women who implied they were underage. Stay tuned…

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