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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.

Photo by Tyler Kingkade/Iowa Independent
Photo by Tyler Kingkade/Iowa Independent

‘Gay community, stop hijacking the civil rights movement’

By Tyler Kingkade | 03.16.11 | 7:30 am

DES MOINES — Speaking before a conservative-minded crowd of around 400 on the west steps of the Capitol, Rev. Keith Ratliff criticized gay rights activists for equating their struggle with the civil rights movement of 50 years ago.

“For the few victories that the gay community is claiming,” Ratliff said, “they have won it mostly based on the hijacking of them trying to parallel themselves on the backs of the civil rights movement, here in America.”

He said their is “no parallel” of what an “insult” it was for them to compare themselves with the civil rights movement.

Ratliff, of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, said not being able to marry a person of the same gender was no where near what it’s like to be denied service in a restaurant or hotel for the color of their skin.

“For those that spiritually see the big picture, this issue is a battle ground as we said and not a playground,” Ratliff said.

But Ratliff also spoke in favor of marriage between one man and one woman and allowing a vote on the issue.

The rally was organized by The Family Leader, an organization led by former three-time gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. The activists are urging Iowa lawmakers, particularly Senate Democrats, to pass a measure that would set the stage for Iowans to vote on forbidding same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution.

Ratliff also declared Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was raised in a biblically structured home and would not have approved of the “deviant behavior” by the gay community.

“Rev. Dr. King, Jr. wasn’t taught to subscribe to private interpretations of Burger King brand religions, any ‘you can have it your way’ religions,” Ratliff said.


Video by Tyler Kingkade

 

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Comments

  • David_in_Houston

    No one is hijacking anything. The gay community has NEVER said that fighting for equality is the same thing as the civil rights struggle that African-Americans went through. But for the so-called reverend to imply that gay people deserve to be ostracized by society is an outrageous (and unchristian) position to hold. Does Mr. Ratliff really believe that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have shared that sentiment? Coretta Scott King didn’t believe so, and neither should anyone else.

  • Anonymous

    WOW – Vandersum traveling around Iowa in his “Lust Bus” with his young companion (some young guy Matt somebody)…sturring up Hate,Bigotry where-ever they go…….Look at the (cough,cough) crowd..lol MOSTLY OLD People…… Talk about OBSESSION……..Hey Iowans, no other problems in your state? No Hunger? No Unemployment? Everyone has Health Care? …ALl Citizens have HAD the RIGHT to Marry for well over a year now………and WHO’s Life is Affected? No-ones..unless you were Invited to said wedding, and had to buy a gift. Vanderscum will be going the way of George Wallace…….Pathetic and quite sad really. Oh and remember, If his and Matt’s Bus Are-A-Rockin, don’t go aknockin..thier doin some Man on Man strategizing….. LOL

    Interestingly enough – Julian Bond,Congressman Lewis ,Al Sharpton and others have NO problem equating the Civil Rights struggle of AA to that of LGBT Americans…….this rev. needs to shove his buy-bull where the sun don’t shine.

  • Anonymous

    The demonization of people needs to stop.

    Yesterday it was reported that, Anthony Collao, 18, a recent high school graduate from Long Island died Monday at Jamaica Hospital after being taken off life support after being beaten by thugs who yelled anti-gay slurs at him and his friends.

    Today, it was reported that on February 22, a group attacked a local Brooklyn resident Barie Shortell as he was walking home. They didn’t rob him, but they did break his nose, jaw, eye-socket and other bones in his face while taunting him with anti-gay slurs.

    It was reported that on February 23, Nicholas Kelo Jr, is thought to have taken his own life. Nicholas’ death is being investigated as a likely suicide due to anti-gay bullying, according to Rittman, OH police

    References:

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/03/15/teen-called-anti-gay-slurs-beaten-after-queens-party-dies/

    http://www.ohio.com/news/break_news/117770373.html

    http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2011/03/16/williamsburg-hate-crime-makes-gay-bashing-literal

  • Anonymous

    The Rev. Keith Ratliff, Bob Vander Plaats, and other radicals are hijacking Christianity. They are trying to parallel their cause of demonizing gays by riding on the backs of the civil rights movement. There is “no parallel” in advocating for discrimination against a small segment of society and the civil rights movement. It is an “insult” for them to compare themselves with the civil rights movement.

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

    [QUOTE]
    [Rev. Keith] Ratliff, of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, said not being able to marry a person of the same gender was no where near what it’s like to be denied service in a restaurant or hotel for the color of their skin.
    [/QUOTE]

    So, there’s some kind of badness level that must be reached before it’s a violation of civil rights?

    And BTW, openly gay people OFTEN meet hostility in restaurants and hotels. Maybe gay people can hide their identy more easily than a black person can DOES NOT make them any less targeted. Just look at Rev. Ratliff’s rally, OPENLY AND PUBLICLY dismissing the importance of rights for a group of people he doesn’t like.

    • Anonymous

      And wasn’t there an effort to write a law allowing blatant discrimination against gays in restaurants/ businesses/ etc? Like, a week ago?

      Discrimination for a physical trait is discrimination for a physical trait. The end.

  • Anonymous

    I am going to add “gay-jacking” to the slanguage, to describe the indignation of members of other historically oppressed populations to gays relating to that oppression, especially those who justify their indignation by demonstrating their own bigotry against gays.

    “Man, they have totally gay-jacked the Civil Rights Movement! MLK would be spinning, ’cause he was not down with the rainbow!”
    (apologies to MLK for the reference; I’m certain that, regardless of how he felt personally, he would agree that oppression of one group by another was wrong)

  • http://www.CoreyMondello.com/ Corey

    Only the elimination of all conservative Christians will allow all Americans to be free and the world to no longer have to live in fear of the U.S.A.’s imperialist, terrorist holy war. The conservative ideology has never helped mankind in any way, it has not only never helped mankind in anyway, it has oppressed, murdered, raped and killed all those in it’s way to gain power. History shows us this. Fact shows us this. James Madison, the “Father of the U.S. Constitution”, along with many founders of this country, regardless of their religious or non-religious affiliations, knew keeping politics and religion separate not only preserves each, but helps them flourish: “The number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church and the State.”

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know that we have to _eliminate_ anyone; I think whenever we start going that route, there’s the potential for great excess. But I would certainly agree with the elimination of the influence of extremist conservative ideals from the legislative process. Tolerance goes all ways (as long as no harm is being done to others); but separation of church and state is needed to prevent one religion’s whims from being imposed on others and the non-religious.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. RATliff can kiss my gay @ss. He clearly has ZERO clue as to who MLK Jr’s right-hand man was, Bayard Rustin! It is because of the ILK of these pseudo-Christians, aka Talibangelicals, that so many of our gay youth are taking their lives! It is the attitudes of Ratliff and the rest of his clan that allows bullying to flourish in our schools! This man is NOT a man of the Christian god he preaches about, but merely an impostor who picks and chooses from the scriptures he claims to love. Today’s fundamentalist Christians are much closer to fundamentalist Muslims it is scary! If they could they would behead us here in the states just as many predominantly Muslim nations do. This man clearly has no idea what the main rule Jesus actually taught…..love they neighbor as you do yourself. In other words Mr. RATliff…….suck on this!

  • Anonymous

    Unbelievable how some folks in my own race try to disown their own lgbt brothers and sisters – http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com/2011/03/from-one-black-man-to-black-community.html

  • Anonymous

    Bigots come in all colors.

    This is “equality” for Rev. Ratliff. Pathetic.

  • Anonymous

    Religious radicals are un-American. They do not believe in the US Constitution, which guarantees:

    1) Equal treatment under the law

    2) Freedom of individual choice (Liberty)

    3) Freedom of religion (Most people’s religious beliefs do not include legalized discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry)

  • Anonymous

    In a letter to legislative leaders, NAACP national board chair Julian Bond and President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous urged passage of House Resolution 5 and Senate Resolution 7 to put the legislature on record calling for invalidation of Prop. 8 as an improper and dangerous alteration of the California Constitution.

    “The NAACP’s mission is to help create a society where all Americans have equal protection and opportunity under the law. “Our Mission Statement calls for the ‘equality of rights of all persons.’ Prop. 8 strips same-sex couples of a fundamental freedom, as defined by the California State Supreme Court. In so doing, it poses a serious threat to all Americans. Prop. 8 is a discriminatory, unprecedented change to the California Constitution that, if allowed to stand, would undermine the very purpose of a constitution and courts – assuring equal protection and opportunity for all and safeguarding minorities from the tyranny of the majority.”

  • Anonymous

    This should come as no surprise. After all, Iowa is the most discriminatory state toward black citizens in the whole country. This is reflected in the states highest-in-the-nation black unemployment rate. It makes no sense whatsoever to have approved gay marriage with this existing statistic. It absolutely reflects the total disregard and lack of sensitivity by gay activists for a REAL CIVIL RIGHTS cause in the black community that needs to be attended to by everyone in Iowa before any other civil rights issue, whether it be justified or not.

    • Anonymous

      Advocating for equal treatment on one front does not diminish the need and impetus for equal treatment on another. We don’t have to pick and choose which liberties we’ll defend; we can and should defend ‘em all. And we prioritize based on which cases of discrimination are filed in our courts, not based on preferences.

      Of course, racial discrimination in the workplace didn’t have a law passed recently legalizing it; it’s been illegal for decades (and based on how Iowa has historically dealt with race-based discrimination in legal cases, may have been illegal for most of the state’s history). Gay marriage, on the other hand, was criminalized by the DOMA passed in 1998; the SC didn’t ‘approve’ gay marriage, they struck down the DOMA as blatantly unconstitutional. Now it’s just a matter of enforcement…which is the same playing field as workplace discrimination.

      As we’ve seen with racial discrimination, legally equivalent status does not translate immediately into social acceptance and reversal of discriminatory attitudes; it takes a lot of time. But I’m betting it goes faster if the discriminated parties don’t take pot shots at each other. It’s not a competition about who faces worse discrimination, or which discrimination is more unjustified, or has gone on longer, or is more limiting; discriminatory treatment is simply wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Not only is the gay marriage propaganda an affront to black americans and their need for civil rights, it is discriminatory towards heterosexual couples.
    SSM is a civil rights violation against all hetero marrieds, especially women! Lesbian women won’t ever have the need to learn or take Family Planning or BC, or endure the side effects of BC – such as cancer, or have to be terrorized by the thought and action of being sterilized, which also has side effects! And they’ll never have to be terrorized by the thought and possible action of getting an abortion of an ILL-TIMED pregnancy, which will NEVER happen with a lesbian couple!

    Indeed, a case can easily be made that SSM is an elitist movement, guaranteeing 2nd class status for hetero marrieds!

    • Anonymous

      Wait, I just want to see if I have this right: is this satire, or do you actually mean that you view SSM as discriminatory because lesbians won’t need birth control to prevent unintended pregnancy, but straight couples do? Because the need for BC to prevent unwanted pregnancy in heterosexual intercourse exists regardless of how many lesbians are getting hitched, and legal access to the right to marry does not change the ability to get it on with a person of the same gender, thus avoiding the need for birth control. To say that it’s discriminatory that one type of couple has this advantage, and therefore should not be allowed to marry, is like saying it’s discriminatory that Michael Jordan was tall, and therefore he should not have been allowed to play basketball. If anything, your argument supports gay marriage; after all, these couples will never have to use birth control, or face the unfortunate choice of abortion in the case of an unwanted pregnancy. They’re clearly better positioned to choose when to have a child for maximum benefit and support of that child.

      You know what we call a situation whereby biological coincidence creates a situation which is beneficial to those involved? We don’t call it discrimination. We call it “lucky”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_F5S2QCIBFBZR6RBRKWTTTWONCI Samuel

    I think out of anyone who would know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. better would be his wife. Coretta Scott King, who passed away in 2006, was a huge supporter of equal rights for gay and lesbian couples and has repeatedly stated that Dr. King would support gay rights as well.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKKKAWJR6QAIHIWK3AQWYGF6NQ Anna

      Exactly. The family a person chooses says more about their values that the family one is born into.

      His anti-gay daughter also argues that her genetic link to her father gives her license to speak with his authority.

      That would set him rolling in his grave, if anything.

      • Anonymous

        And even if it didn’t, we can still expand upon King’s teachings of patient, inexorable movement towards equality to include groups facing other than racial discrimination. King may have been a product of his time, and he may have accepted homosexuality as aberrant because it never occurred to him this was discriminatory too; without direct comment from the man himself, we’ll never know. But regardless, whether great leaders are later discovered or suspected to have their failings, we can still praise the nobility of some ideals without having to follow the beliefs we disagree with; we can take the concept of equality further without diminishing the original cause of the Equal Rights movement (which far pre-dates King, and continues onward).

        I think we like to believe King was such a great man as to be above such discrimination, but he was a man, and he would have been influenced by his culture and upbringing. Perhaps it’s a sign of the admiration we all have for his work that we assume he progresses ahead of society, even after his death.

      • Anonymous

        And even if it didn’t, we can still expand upon King’s teachings of patient, inexorable movement towards equality to include groups facing other than racial discrimination. King may have been a product of his time, and he may have accepted homosexuality as aberrant because it never occurred to him this was discriminatory too; without direct comment from the man himself, we’ll never know. But regardless, whether great leaders are later discovered or suspected to have their failings, we can still praise the nobility of some ideals without having to follow the beliefs we disagree with; we can take the concept of equality further without diminishing the original cause of the Equal Rights movement (which far pre-dates King, and continues onward).

        I think we like to believe King was such a great man as to be above such discrimination, but he was a man, and he would have been influenced by his culture and upbringing. Perhaps it’s a sign of the admiration we all have for his work that we assume he progresses ahead of society, even after his death.

  • http://twitter.com/cybernoelie Le Flâneur

    The man wouldn’t dare show his face in Northern Ireland where many people died marching for their Civil Rights – most especially on a day we remember as Bloody Sunday – they were white people looking for equality with other white people.

  • Citizen Kane

    All I see anymore is all of this controversy in our state. All these outside our borders people with extremist views, Is it really worth it Iowa? We prided ourselves in being the voice of reason for the less represented smaller states in the past, I simply don’t see the value add anymore? This man represents maybe a less then a one percent perspective in our state to his belief, so why do we want to be culpable in providing the platform for this type of radical speech?

  • Anonymous

    Unbelievable lbgt video on civil rights:
    http://www.gmcla.org/galleries/gmcla-videos/

    “Revolution!”

  • Anonymous

    The African American community is faced with so many challenges – access to health care, funding for education, employment discrimination, HIV/AIDS, police brutality, poverty, pay inequity and so much more. Given his unique talents to find followers, I am so very disappointed in Reverend Ratliff for using his gift of speech to further divide communities and for using his authority to cater to groups who may not have the best interest of his communities at heart. How much better the world might be if his efforts to divide and push down our gay and lesbian friends, neighbors and families were instead used to unite and raise everyone.

    His website lists so many accolades but they do not seem to align with the man in this video.
    -Des Moines Area Religious Council Interfaith Service Award – This organization unites many different faiths yet Mr. Ratliff stands in judgement of other faiths which have ‘Burger King you can have it your way’ beliefs.
    - The Des Moines Human Rights Commission Award – The Human Rights Commissions goal is to advance justice and equality of all people in Des Moines. They attempt to foster justice and equality for all people who live or visit Des Moines by creating an atmosphere of opportunity regardless of: Age, race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, physical and mental disability or family status.

    This list also includes Amnesty International, Keys to the city and much more but I can’t help but believe many of these awards would not have been given if his views were known at the time of their issuance.

    Our congregations, neighborhoods, cities and states are very very diverse. There is strength in this diversity and it’s my hope all Iowans, Americans and the worlds peoples can live with dignity, safety and the freedom to be who they are in all their glory.

  • http://twitter.com/itsjimmay Jimmy Cotreau

    umm hello Reverend… Gays can be denied access to services too.. like oh I don’t know.. marriage, health coverage.. oh and they can’t donate blood either… no biggy, right? HYPOCRITE!

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