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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

hermancain_80x80
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.

State Sen. Kent Sorenson (Photo by Dave Davidson, www.TEApublican.com).
State Sen. Kent Sorenson (Photo by Dave Davidson, www.TEApublican.com).

Senate Dems vote down push for gay marriage ban

By Jason Hancock | 01.27.11 | 8:05 am

A motion by state Sen. Kent Sorenson (R-Indianola) to suspend the Senate’s rules to allow a vote on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was defeated early Thursday morning on a party-line vote.

Sorenson asked all 50 senators to call up Senate Joint Resolution 8, a bill that would amend the Iowa Constitution to specify that marriage between one man and one woman is the only legal union valid or recognized in the state. Senate President Jack Kibbie (D-Emmetsburg) said “no,” but agreed to allow a vote on whether to suspend the rules and override his objection.

Twenty-six Democrats voted “no” and 24 Republicans voted “yes.” The motion was defeated.

Danny Carroll, chairman of the controversial Christian organization The Family Leader, told supporters in an e-mail Wednesday night that Sorenson was planning to “file numerous amendments and use any other tactic at his disposal” in order to force a vote on same-sex marriage. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has vowed to never allow such an amendment to come up for debate.

Gronstal told The Des Moines Register that despite claims by Republicans that this was a vote on marriage, it was only a vote on Senate rules.

“It is not a vote on the constitutional vote, but I understand that people can lie and say it is,” Gronstal said.

Sorenson has kept his focus of late on overturning the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous 2009 ruling that found the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the equal protection clause of the constitution. Last year, in an interview with Focus on the Family’s magazine, Sorenson called the debate over same-sex marriage “my generation’s defining moment.”

“This is what our kids are going to be reading about,” he told Focus on the Family. “It’s up to us to do what’s right.”

Last month, Sorenson told a radio audience that he was convinced he could force a vote on marriage, even though Secretary of the Senate Mike Marshal has said there is no mechanism whereby senators, even a majority of senators, can override the majority leader.

An Iowa House committee has passed a constitutional amendment, and a public hearing will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the statehouse. In order to amend the constitution, the legislation would have to pass this year and again in 2013 before going on the ballot for a popular vote.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


Comments

  • Anonymous

    Keep creating those jobs, Republicans!

  • http://greghauenstein.com/ Greg Hauenstein

    “This is what our kids are going to be reading about,”

    Exactly. I want my children to know I was standing on the side of equality and justice, not religious zealotry and fear.

    Thank you to Senate Democrats for standing up for our state’s Constitution and the civil rights of LGBT Iowans.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Sorenson is right: This may very well be his generations defining moment. But history’s definition will be very different from what he imagines.

  • Anonymous

    This is “burning down the capitol?” (Sorenson campaign slogan)

    Well, a least one Republican has created one job in this economy – his.
    Please Iowa, keep him away from matches…and kids and families.

    • Anonymous

      1. that was not his slogan. 2 you make me sick. 3. Marriage should not have anything to do with the government. 4. you just wait until Mike Gronstal is out! and 5. whether you like it or not legislating from the bench is unconstitutional

      • http://www.eddiecaplan.com/ egc52556

        3. If marriage should not have anything to do with the government then why do you (apparently) hope that Iowans amend the Constitution to define marriage as lawful only between two heterosexuals?

        YMNS – You Make No Sense.

      • Anonymous

        Another person who fails to understand the American system of government. The judiciary is a equal branch of the government. It is their role to examine laws passed by the legislative and overturn those that are unconstitutional. That is not legislating from the bench, that is doing their job.

      • Anonymous

        Hey, can you read? Then read the Constitution, and the Varnum decision. If you still think it was ‘legislating from the bench’ (a load of crap ad slogan that apparently idiots can’t let go of) is valid…please move to Mississippi. I’m pretty sure it would raise the average IQ in both states. Pretty sure.

        • Anonymous

          Its a good thing I already have its people like you That need to move out of this country. Because you have no idea what it was founded on

          Sent from my U.S. Cellular® Android phone

          • Anonymous

            Yay! Now there’s more room for a nice gay couple.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KK56O6EIPRRN4FKYHMXLYUM5JM Krista

        i am soo glad you are my best friend! =)

  • http://qcblue.blogspot.com/ UIGrad2010

    Ha fail! The republicans are on the wrong side of history for sure on this one. Mike Gronstal is a great Senator and a man dedicated to equality and fairness that we are all allowed in the Iowa Constitution.

    • Anonymous

      Doesn’t it just kill you to see the idiots pursuing this misguided agenda talk about how they’re defining a moment in history? Really? Look at some of the past ‘heroes’ who have worked to limit right of the minority. How exactly do we regard these people?

      There’s a MLK avenue in just about every major city…where is the Orval Faubus Lane? What, no idea who that is? He’s the jackass governor who tried to prevent black students from attending a white school in Arknasas. History pretty damn well kicked his ass, and he was way more important than some piddly junior senate runt from Iowa.

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

      Mike Gronstal will go down in Iowa history as the man taking a stand for civil rights before its time. Rep. Sorensen will go down in history as the obsessed ignorant fool who didn’t get to shove his views down the throats of all Iowans and restrict their constitutionally-granted liberty. I guess it’s Sorensen’s choice.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com PolishBear

    Exactly how is allowing Gay couples the exact same legal benefits and responsibilities that Straight couples have always taken for granted going to affect ‘traditional marriage?” Marriage equality for Gay couples will have precisely ZERO impact on your life, your marriage, your church, and your children. Your church will never be forced to marry Gay couples, any more than it is forced to marry non-Christian couples. Public schools will not be forced to “teach” about Gay marriage, any more than they are forced to teach about Straight marriage.

    Instead you should ask yourself why law-abiding, taxpaying Gay Americans should be forced to subsidize all the legal benefits and responsibilities that Straight couples enjoy, when we are unable to take advantage of those same incentives to marry? And since when do voters get to decide that the rights that they enjoy should NOT apply to minorities?

    • Anonymous

      If the deciding factor on who can marry is whether it effects “your” life, marriage, church or children, would allowing a man to marry a dog effect your life, marriage, church or children?
      President Clinton called for a full and honest debate about race. I would like to see a full and honest debate about homosexuality. I think its time now that issues like glory holes, gonorhea, fisting, the purposeful spread of AIDS through blood donations, bathhouses, all routine aspects of the homosexual lifestyle should be openly discussed so that we have a full, and most importantly, accurate discussion of this group that some want to elevate to a protected class based on their activities.

      • http://rickladd.com Rick Ladd

        It’s ironic that you call for full and accurate discussion when you use inflammatory language and minority behavior to brand “this group”. Perhaps you should think real hard before branding that kettle black, eh?

      • Anonymous

        Sorry but your argument is invalid. Dogs are not tax paying citizens, so by no means should a animal or an object should be able to marry a person and by the way they can’t sign a contract or say yes when asked if they want to get married. Also only a portion of gays do those activities that you mentioned, just because you have seen some gay fetish porn doesn’t mean that all gay people act this way. Many straight people practice fisting, have gonorrhea, go to glory holes, and have AIDS, so please don’t be so ignorant about it.

      • Anonymous

        Why, when discussing gay (human) rights do you immediately jump to sex. What consenting adults, gay or straight, do in bed is nobody’s business. And you’re right, an honest, open debate about homosexuality would be good thing, it’s actually been going on for about the last 25 years. But let’s also have an honest and open discussion about heterosexual practices as well. I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that many heterosexuals practice anal sex, fisting, S&M and all manner of things that you may have a judgmental label for. Shall we hold a means test and deny them the right to marry as well? We’re debating equal rights of human beings in this country, not the rights of dogs. And BTW, intentionally infecting someone with AIDS is a crime, and I can recall several well-known cases that involve straight men infecting straight women. Please also explain what you mean by “special rights”. As it stands, it is the straight people who have the special right to marry in most states in this country. We are simply asking for that right, then we’d be equal, not “special”.

      • Anonymous

        Why, when discussing gay (human) rights do you immediately jump to sex. What consenting adults, gay or straight, do in bed is nobody’s business. And you’re right, an honest, open debate about homosexuality would be good thing, it’s actually been going on for about the last 25 years. But let’s also have an honest and open discussion about heterosexual practices as well. I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that many heterosexuals practice anal sex, fisting, S&M and all manner of things that you may have a judgmental label for. Shall we hold a means test and deny them the right to marry as well? We’re debating equal rights of human beings in this country, not the rights of dogs. And BTW, intentionally infecting someone with AIDS is a crime, and I can recall several well-known cases that involve straight men infecting straight women. Please also explain what you mean by “special rights”. As it stands, it is the straight people who have the special right to marry in most states in this country. We are simply asking for that right, then we’d be equal, not “special”.

      • Anonymous

        My previous post was to
        jefkline

      • Anonymous

        The only “full and honest” discussion (not debate) you need to have is with the person you want to marry. Leave a bit of out so you can both discover somethings about each other and yourselves as you go through life together.

        Worked well for me and mine the past 36 years. We are still discovering things.

        If you still think you need to devote your time and attention to someone else’s marriage, you’ll have little time or attention needed for your own marriage. Good luck.

        People are different races. People are different sexualities. Not much more to debate there.

      • Anonymous

        Good idea. At the same time let’s open up a discussion about the glory holes heterosexuals use, as well as the straight sex clubs and AIDS in the straight porno industry and other nations like Africa, where AIDS has affected many more heterosexuals than gays…and then of course we can discuss heterosexual bondage, and heterosexual gonorrhea and syphilis and unhealthy heterosexual lifestyles in general. And when we’re done with that we can take a vote on whether heterosexuals should be allowed to marry anymore (49% divorce rate? Sounds like a dud to me) and whether they should continue to be a protected class of the majority. Okay? You want a conversation, brother, bring it on!

      • Anonymous

        Good idea. At the same time let’s open up a discussion about the glory holes heterosexuals use, as well as the straight sex clubs and AIDS in the straight porno industry and other nations like Africa, where AIDS has affected many more heterosexuals than gays…and then of course we can discuss heterosexual bondage, and heterosexual gonorrhea and syphilis and unhealthy heterosexual lifestyles in general. And when we’re done with that we can take a vote on whether heterosexuals should be allowed to marry anymore (49% divorce rate? Sounds like a dud to me) and whether they should continue to be a protected class of the majority. Okay? You want a conversation, brother, bring it on!

      • Anonymous

        Oh, for Pete’s sake (Hi, Pete!). Really? The “Now we can marry our dogs” claim? Look, you pathetic hickerbilly, most of us can differentiate between a consenting adult human (for whom gender should not be a limiting issue) and a non-consenting non-human which is almost certainly below the legal age of consent. If you can’t, you probably want to move a bit further south.

  • http://twitter.com/bwmanx BW Manx

    Keep up the great work Mike Gronstal!
    Gronstal and the Dems in Iowa need to keep on the message of jobs, the economy and retaining young people in the state. Writing discrimination into the state constitution does nothing to create jobs, improve the economy or keep young people in the state.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry but your argument is invalid. Dogs are not tax paying citizens, so by no means should a animal or an object should be able to marry a person and by the way they can’t sign a contract or say yes when asked if they want to get married. Also only a portion of gays do those activities that you mentioned, just because you have seen some gay fetish porn doesn’t mean that all gay people act this way. Many straight people practice fisting, have gonorrhea, go to glory holes, and have AIDS, so please don’t be so ignorant about it.

  • Anonymous

    It is the conservatives who pushed through DOMA and believe that allowing gay marriage would somehow “affect” or threaten traditional marriage. Polish Bear was simply rebutting that claim. If straight people really want to honor traditional marriage they’d do better to look after and nurture their own marriages instead of worrying about everybody elses. Go read the publicly available information about the personal lives of the prominent Republicans who pushed through DOMA. Most of them were on their 2nd or 3rd divorces, they repetitively lied and cheated on their wives, and Newt Gingrich—that bastion of high morals and piety—actually pressed his first wife to sign divorce papers while she was still in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. Defense of Marriage indeed! The hypocrisy of the right wing in general and fundamentalist Christians in particular on this issue is truly mind-boggling!

  • Anonymous

    Your interest in man marrying dog is …well…..OFF TRACK! You would not last 1 min in a debate about homosexuality. I suspect you need to check yourself!

  • http://twitter.com/DiggerDoggg hank

    Im gay, was born/raised in Iowa. I moved out of state and consideredcoming back. I’m disappointed in Iowa. Hell, I am mad at Iowa. I thought Iowans were the best educated in the country. I’ve lost my pride in the state. When so many Iowans have fallen for the hate mongers, all I can do is shake my head with disgust. Iowa, what’s happened to you? I hardly know you anymore.

    • Anonymous

      I think too many people perceived this as a non-issue. A lot of us lost faith on November 2. Thank goodness for people like Gronstal; I’d rather see the state shut down than see us allow ‘tyranny of the majority’.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JTNL3HUJLJMZNDYGE3W6HONH2A Chris

    “This is what our kids are going to be reading about,” he told Focus on the Family. Yes, it is what your children will read about and wonder why anyone would want to withhold civil rights from a minority, just as kids today read about Jim Crow laws and seperate but equal with bewilderment today…

    • Anonymous

      I’d have to say that I am proud of him! he is standing up for what he believes in and for what obviously his constituents believe in because he talk about marriage with every person he came in contact with. He isn’t going the opposite way and not having a spine.

      • Anonymous

        So it doesn’t matter what he believes in, or if following through means depriving approximately 100,000 Iowans of equal protection under the law, just because some people don’t like the idea of gay sex? Would you have felt the same way if he were demanding a return to the miscegenation laws from the 1800′s? Most states held onto theirs into the mid-20th century; Iowa dumped it in 1851, because that’s just the kind of awesome people we are.

        Wow, I’ll bet you think Hitler was a real hero…after all, he never gave up. You know, until he committed suicide. How sad to see someone so young endorsing discrimination, just because it shows ‘a spine’. Sometimes ‘staying the course’ isn’t a sign of bravery so much as stupidity.

        • Anonymous

          So your comparing my dad to Hitler now? It does matter what he believes in because that is what his constituents voted him in by a landslide. He didn’t get voted in by saying I agree with the decisions of the judges he went in say I disagree. He didn’t lie going in there he told the truth of what he was going to do.

          • Anonymous

            If you are so confident this is what Iowans want then why don’t we just let them vote on it?

          • Anonymous

            Because allowing even a super majority (which 55% certainly isn’t) relegate a segment of the population to second class is wrong. It’s called ‘the tyranny of the majority’ or ‘mob rule’ and it’s part of the reason the judiciary exists in the first place; to provide minorities with a recourse through legal channels to defend them from oppression from the masses.

            It shouldn’t matter if 55% of Iowans are absolutely opposed to gay marriage (which no poll has demonstrated; the highest numbers are in the 40′s for opposing); those opposing are not involved in or affected by the marriages, so why should they be allowed to restrict them?

            We have this beautiful thing called ‘the rule of law’. In Iowa, our most basic principle is laid out in the Bill of Rights: all are equal under the law. I know your high school history classes didn’t cover this, but Iowa has been on the progressive edge, basing its laws on equality and non-discrimination, since before there was an Iowa. The first SC case essentially said “State and property owners’ rights? Bollocks. All people are free. If you were a slave when you got to Iowa, congratulations, because you’re a free man now.” That was 1839; decades ahead of the US Supreme Court or the Emancipation Proclamation.

            We’ve been espousing equality for 150 years…why would we stop now? To make a few overheated bigots happy that they can go back to accusing gays of being promiscuous, since they can’t be married? Where does it end, when gays can’t hold certain jobs? Can’t vote? Can’t serve in the military? Can’t adopt? Once you open the door to discrimination, who else will be targeted?

            If your dad endorses depriving a minority of their rights by rewriting the law to suit himself, even though he is in no way affected by the exercising of those rights, all because he’s decided that minority is inferior in some regard, then yeah, I’d say the parallels with Nazi dogma are pretty apparent.

          • Anonymous

            how about YOU look up the name Alice Paul……a woman who FOUGHT for the RIGHT to VOTE for ALL women…….look at the arguments USED to try and prevent them from voting, then look up Inter-racial marriage, and the arguments against that………ok dear.

          • Anonymous

            ..and IF the Swasticker Fits – wear it! Can’t tell – is your dad/you a Minority…(black) ..if so, its even MORE sickening..typical…your dad NEVER had to FIGHT for his Rights…he’s Living/thriving OFF the backs of those who FOUGHT for his Rights. Nothing worse, then a Minority trying to trample on the rights of others..sad & truly Pathetic.

          • Anonymous

            No, actually my dad is Kent… You know the one that people are now comparing to hitler… this is no way in comparison to woman voting or inter-racial marriages.

          • Anonymous

            well no matter how YOU look at it…..just Do NOT be surprised dear in 10,20yrs…..when your dad’s name is in the SAME catagory as George Wallace’s name and stained reputation…..and IF you have children …they will get to read all about it in history books…..about thier bigoted grandfather……and deary, I HOPE IF you have children at least 1 of them is LGBT.

          • Anonymous

            You can’t quit calling me dear and Deary. ;) I’m proud of him I could really
            care less what you think.

          • Anonymous

            Hi Notifications-14VOPDQILJ,

            I set up a Facebook profile where I can post my pictures, videos and events and I want to add you as a friend so you can see it. First, you need to join Facebook! Once you join, you can also create your own profile.

            Thanks,
            Makala

            To sign up for Facebook, follow the link below:
            http://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=542591864&k=52GYP664QT6G6BDBUC45VPTPT6B16X6CVUHR&r

            Already have an account? Add this email address to your account:
            http://www.facebook.com/n/?merge_accounts.php&e=notifications-14vopdqilj%40disqus.net&c=291a6cee1646a8a580be7907e7a55852

            =======================================
            was invited to join Facebook by Makala Sorenson. If you don’t want to receive these emails from Facebook in the future, please follow the link below to unsubscribe.
            http://www.facebook.com/o.php?k=75373e&u=100002412274537&mid=433cf17G5af3a042a369G0G8
            Learn more about this email: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=17151nFacebook, Inc. P.O. Box 10005, Palo Alto, CA 94303

          • Anonymous

            =======================================
            To sign up for Facebook, follow the link below: http://www.facebook.com/r.php?re=7512fe908ab4a2438b9021483aa4fd86&mid=4fd6fa1G5af3a042a369G0G46 =======================================

            Hi,

            The following person invited you to be their friend on Facebook:

            Makala Sorenson (Invite sent: May 10, 2011)

            Facebook is a great place to keep in touch with friends, post photos, videos and create events. But first you need to join! Sign up today to create a profile and connect with the people you know.
            Thanks,
            The Facebook Team

            To sign up for Facebook, follow the link below: http://www.facebook.com/r.php?re=7512fe908ab4a2438b9021483aa4fd86&mid=4fd6fa1G5af3a042a369G0G46
            =======================================
            The message was sent to If you don’t want to receive these emails from Facebook in the future, please follow the link below to unsubscribe. http://www.facebook.com/o.php?k=75373e&u=100002412274537&mid=4fd6fa1G5af3a042a369G0G46 Facebook, Inc. P.O. Box 10005, Palo Alto, CA 94303

          • Anonymous

            You’re wrong; it has everything in common with interracial marriage and women voting. It’s an effort to ban marriage and delegitimize relationships based, not on their sincerity, commitment, stability, or anything else that matters, but upon a minor biological detail. It’s deprivation of equal rights and equal protection under the law because of a tiny bit of genetic code that in no way makes the individual defective, criminal, or less of a person. The only way in which it differs from miscegenation laws, educational segregation, and undermining of women’s rights is that banning gay marriage doesn’t provide a financial or other advantage to the antagonistic party…so if anything, that antagonism hasn’t even the poor justification of selfishness.

            Disenfranchisement because of a physical characteristic is disenfranchisement because of a physical characteristic. And it’s wrong.

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

          No reason to compare Rep. Sorensen to Hitler. It’s not necessary – his ignorance speaks for itself and is entirely different. He is right that this is the defining moment of his generation. It is the time when they decide if they want to move the country forward toward what Iowa’s future wants (overwhelming support for civil marriage equity among Iowa’s young adults) – or maintain tired, ignorant ways that only will go down as a stark stain in Iowa’s history books.

  • Anonymous

    Gronstal WILL go down in thie History Books as a Man who Stood for ALL the People!

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