Top Stories

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

crystal_sugar_80
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.

(File Photo: Tyler Kingkade/The Iowa Independent)
(File Photo: Tyler Kingkade/The Iowa Independent)

GOP House members seek impeachment of Iowa justices for same-sex marriage decision

Move immediately decried as political stunt
By Lynda Waddington | 04.22.11 | 8:22 am

Iowa House Republicans drew an immediate negative reaction late Thursday when they filed four articles of impeachment, one for each remaining member of the Iowa Supreme Court that participated in an April 2009 decision that struck down a legislative ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the state’s equal protection clause.

The four House resolutions target Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady (HR 48) and Justices Brent Appel (HR 47), Daryl Hecht (HR 49) and David Wiggins (HR 50) for “malfeasance in office” specifically for their ruling in the Varnum v. Brien case, saying that each justice “exercis[ed] functions properly belonging to the legislative and executive departments.”

The five GOP lawmakers offering the resolutions were Reps. Tom Shaw of Laurens, Dwayne Alons of Hull, Betty De Boef of What Cheer, Glen Massie of Des Moines and Kim Pearson of Pleasant Hill.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines, a member of Democratic leadership, immediately challenged House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) and Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer (R-Garner) to speak against the actions taken by their caucus members.

“I issue the following challenge to Speaker Paulsen and Majority Leader Upmeyer on the proposed impeachment of the remaining Supreme Court Justices … either publicly condemn your own Republican members as well as members of the Republican Party for offering this outrageous, extremist proposal … or allow a full and open impeachment proceeding for all Iowans to consider knowing House Democrats will use every available procedural tool to shut down the Iowa House and defeat this right-wing effort,” said McCarthy.

“I suspect, however that the House Republican Leadership will do neither and instead remain cowardly silent. If that is true, then let it be clear to all Republicans where the House Republican Leadership truly stands on this issue.”

The articles of impeachment drafted and filed by the five legislators were also immediately attacked by Justice Not Politics, a nonpartisan group that formed in advance of the 2010 retention election in hopes of bolstering support for the three justices on the November ballot and to stress the non-political nature of the Iowa Judicial Branch.

“The threat by five legislators to impeach the State Supreme Court Justices is only a sad attempt to misuse the impeachment process for political gain, but completely out of touch with Iowans,” read the Justice Not Politics statement. “Thousands of Iowans signed on to Justice Not Politics’ letter against impeachment, and two polls released this year found an overwhelming majority of Iowans oppose impeachment.

“We are confident legislators and Iowans will reject this ridiculous effort by a small, but loud minority to placate their extreme agenda to inject politics and discrimination into our court system.”

Despite the work of Justice Not Politics and other smaller and sparsely funded organizations formed in support of the state judiciary, Iowans voted to oust all three Supreme Court Justices who stood for routine retention votes last fall. It was the first time voters had chose not to retain high justices since the state adopted it’s current merit-based selection and retention process in 1962.

Opposition to retention was led by Bob Vander Plaats, who formed Iowa for Freedom following an unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial primary bid. The ouster movement was well financed by out-of-state anti-gay interest groups. Currently, Vander Plaats is employed as head of The Family Leader organization, which has traveled the state in hopes of “building on the momentum” of the November ousters.

The three ousted justices were replaced by Gov. Terry Branstad in February, following a winnowing of candidates by the State Judicial Nominating Commission.

Although Republicans hold a majority in the Iowa House, it remains doubtful that the articles of impeachment will live beyond their referral to the Judiciary Committee.

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    Wow…these Reoublican Fools just can’t let thier Blatant Bigotry go can they? Helloooo…wake up! How is anyone marrying affecting you..? If anything it’s brought revenue into Iowa, when it’s sorely needed. Look these legislators can’t even do thier jobs…..they can’t get past the fact that the Iowa Constitution Treats ALL Iowans Equally……awe, what a Disappointment to the GOP / America’s Taliban Party. All this crap they’re doin’ is a REPEAT….of things that Losers like them tried to do back in the 60′s when Inter-racial Marriage Ban was lifted…..Ohh the Outrage was just as bad. I was Only a Kid, but I remember hearing it…. “Why don’t those N’s keep to themselves”? “Why aren’t they happy marrying thier own kind”? “Why do they want Our White Women”? etc etc etc……..Oh and IF you were white and had empathy towards blacks …you were considered a “N-Lover” …and all this – again, was under the guise of Religion. LOL ..the party of small gov’t my rearend.

    • Anonymous

      You’ve got to hand it to them…they know how to work a crowd..! Just like a team of pickpockets…they know all the perfect phrases that just set folks off: big gov’t. – when truthfully, republicans want to EXPAND gov’t. control…of us! They are jokes, and so are WE if we don’t get off our arses, and DUMP and RECALL as many republicans as we can!

  • David_in_Houston

    So I’m guessing when the U.S. Supreme Court nullified all state bans on interracial marriage (60 years ago) those justices should have been impeached too? I’m not sure when I’ve ever seen such seething bigotry and homophobia on display.

    • Anonymous

      It’s obscene, and in my experience as an Iowan, unique in its pettiness. DOMA should never have passed in the first pace, but attitudes about sexual orientation were still evolving. It took time to move through the courts, but it was dealt with in the only manner it could be: as an unconstitutional law designed to divide and emphasize differences, and to take rights away for no better excuse than prejudice.

      I’m so proud of our Supreme Court for not allowing the risk of these sorts of repercussions to stay them in doing their jobs. Iowans are incredibly fortunate to have a non-partisan SC that is governed by the Constitution, not changeable public attitudes and election-year capital, the way legislatures are. A lot of those who voted against judicial retention were duped by misleading advertising that claimed the judges overstepped their bounds and wrote a law; they reacted to a perceived threat to their freedoms. Hopefully they’ve realized their grievous mistake, and are scrutinizing those who put forth this false information. Hopefully in the future they will get more of the story instead of acting in a knee-jerk fashion to a catchy slogan.

      • Anonymous

        They need to restore the judges.

        • Anonymous

          It won’t happen. But I feel confident they’ll be regarded by history as having exemplified the high road.

    • Anonymous

      It’s shameful.

    • Anonymous

      There were call for impeachment and constitutional amendments from the crazies back then, too. No one with a modicum of respect for the Constitution took them seriously. The difference today is that the crazies are in charge of the GOP.

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

    Can they GET OVER IT already! We have much more important issues. Leave gay people alone. Someone should impeach them for criminal stupidity.

    • Anonymous

      I would like to know what the requirements are for legislator recall. These jackasses aren’t doing the work they were hired to do. And unlike the SC, who are governed by the Constitution, we write the job description for legislators.

      • Anonymous

        I wonder if they are not governed by money and greed…. only….! Excellent comment..

        • Anonymous

          As far as I can tell, the ringleader of this little hate party (Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa’s not-so-secret shame) has his pantie in a sustained bunch because the Republicans gave Branstad the nomination, not him. That’s when this whole ridiculous fiasco started.

          I will admit, it is an eye-opener to find that so many Iowans have these deep-seated prejudices, and that they will act on them.

    • Anonymous

      Bless you..and Thank You! You honor yourself by being a credit to your family..!

  • Anonymous

    Would you call John Adams a bigot?

    “I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.”

    –John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on December 25, 1813

    “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

    –John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813

    The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity

    –John Adams, Works, Vol. III, p. 421, diary entry for July 26, 1796.

    • Anonymous

      I’d call him a Christian, and say that, although it’s very nice he’s found some principles for morality that he admires, agrees with, and wishes to follow, he has no more right to impose his religion or his religious text on others than any other religious or non-religious person.

      What we write into law should be based on a collaborative effort that provides fair treatment for all, regardless of race, creed, orientation, etc. It’s fine to reference a system of morality, but you cannot abandon the input of others in your consideration and still consider all to have been treated equally.

      John Adams’ opinion of the Bible is only one opinion. Remind me, what was Jefferson’s? Oh yes:

      “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”

      -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

      “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

      -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

      “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

      -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

      “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”

      -Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813

      You can pick and choose which founding father and which opinion you prefer, but they did agree on some things. One was that all should be treated equally.

      Adams was a great defender of the Constitution. Our constitution says that all will be treated equally under the law. Prohibiting gays from marrying breaches that in a big way, for no better reason than an established pattern of bigotry.

      Perhaps the question you should be asking is, would John Adams call you a bigot?

      • Anonymous

        Actually, Adams was a Unitarian. Adams, or the framers are not imposing anything. You have freedom of conscience. Adams and the other framers are saying the very foundation of our principles and documents are founded on Christianity.

        Christianity condemns homosexuality, upon judgment from God. That is what the founders believed because the Bible says it.

        Jefferson was not a Christian, but he called himself one. Quoting him doesn’t help your cause. Jefferson was not representative of the people; Adams was more so, even though he was a unitarian.. Jefferson was one guy, who thought he was something he wasn’t.

        If the people allow certain sins, they could hypothetically allow murder. There is no difference in the principle at all.

        • Anonymous

          One can certainly adopt ideas from past cultures or religions, without adopting also those cultures or religions’ obsolete practices. I quite like having running water and voting; however, I’ve yet to host an orgy, install a purgatorium, or wish to build a colosseum. I have worn a toga; they’re roomy, but impractical for biking. Would denim have gotten me stoned in 30 AD? Because now it’s socially acceptable, far more so than robes and tunics.

          Your rebuttal that Jefferson is the wrong person to quote is your opinion. He was well-educated and well thought, in my opinion two attributes that make his opinion more worthwhile. Nonetheless, I quoted him to point out that Adams’ opinions were only one set of opinions, and not the only valuable ones.

          Sins and crimes are two very different thing; blurring that line is superimposing religion onto government. It may be a sin to let someone starve; it is a crime to steal bread to feed them. Murder is theoretically both a sin and a crime, although the Bible is rife with gratuitous killing, endorsed by God, and there are many instances when killing is legal, and, in the case of military service, may be required. Homosexuality may be a sin in your very narrow world view; it certainly isn’t in mine. But either way, it isn’t a crime according to Iowa law. Efforts to deprive citizens of their legal rights based on commission of acts which are not crimes is unconstitutional. In matters of law, our Constitution trumps your Bible.

          • Anonymous

            My opinion about Jefferson is fact. Even the Jeffersonians in the South were Trinitarians. Out of the million or so inhabitants in the colonies, TJ was one of a handful whose views you speak of. He is not representative of the people at all.

            The point is homosexuality was a crime in the Unites States, punishable by death or prison.

            Where does the bible endorse killing besides the Canaanites, who sacrificed their babies to Molech, and deserved death? The excuse to save the little ones has no justification as when they grew up, they would have destroyed Israel.

            If God is love, which the Bible claims, we have no right to question God’s commands on morality, since He is love and we cannot see into the future as God can, to justify our wants.

            You could not make the claim to George Washington that his view on homosexuality is his narrow opinion. It was the entire people’s opinion. He would quote the Bible and proclaim the very foundation of our existence is based the Bible.

            The Bible is the foundation of the Constitution; it has to be because the men who framed the Constitution mandated the death penalty for homosexuality. GW said religion cannot be separated from morality; ever. Yet, that is what the left is trying to do today.

            You or I cannot will our own desires upon the documents of the country. It has to be their will, because they implored posterity not to depart from the principles they established.

          • http://twitter.com/GlockPalin Glock H. Palin, Esq.

            Where does the bible endorse killing besides the Canaanites…

            Have you ever read the bible?

            20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
            20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
            20:11 And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
            20:12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
            20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
            20:14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
            20:15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
            20:16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

          • Anonymous

            They only read the parts they like.

          • Anonymous

            It’s a noble effort, but I’ve tried in the past. The only arguments this one listens to are his own. Entertainingly, he seems to be the only one listening to those; if you check out his blog (which he will, eventually, attempt to use as a reference that proves his claims her) at http://ourfoundingtruth.blogspot.com/, you’ll notice an eerie lack of comments.

            Oh well. I’m sure God listens, and is giving him a big invisible thumbs-up.

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

            Have you ever read the Constitution? I have read it almost 30 times and you do not get any sense that this is a Christian document. It is not at all. Many of the founders were Christian, however it is to play no role in governing. Homosexuality is one in a list of sins in the purity code. You cannot pick and choose. Shall we take any and all rights away from women on their period? The OT says women are unpure, and that men cannot touch her when she’s menstruating. It says you cannot do many things, but homosexuality is not a big deal. Perhaps we should looks at another major religion for guidance like conservative or reform Judaism where in the reforma these policies are updated with the times. Civil marriage is not a religious thing. You look at things too simply. Surprise surprise. Religious organizations are free to discriminate against gay couples but the government should not be able to decide which relationships are valid between two consenting adults. The justices did nothing to deserve impeachment. They did their job, they interpreted a law and how it violated people’s 14th amendment rights. SCOTUS precedent of recent times qualifies the rights of gays and lesbians. You are a bigot trapped in an ever-changing world where gay couples can actually get their fully deserved rights. Move on to something else, bible beat in front of an abortion clinic or something. Leave gays and lesbians alone. And get a life.

          • Anonymous

            Oh, lordy, here we go again.

            “My opinion about Jefferson is fact.” OFT, your opinion remains your opinion. Your opinion that Jefferson is not an adequate opinion to reference is your opinion. Your opinion that God is love is your opinion (and frankly kinda flies in the face of charming tales about Job, and of course, Isaac and Abraham).

            “If God is love, which the Bible claims, we have no right to question God’s commands on morality, since He is love and we cannot see into the future as God can, to justify our wants.” This doesn’t even make sense. There is nothing about love that prevents questioning. In fact, I would say it’s even more important, if you’re going to believe a thing is defining your morality, to question that thing if its morality seems less than moral. But regardless, what your saying is that you believe in God because the Bible tells you to, and you believe in the Bible because God tells you to. Do you still not see that this is circular?

            “You could not make the claim to George Washington that his view on homosexuality is his narrow opinion.” The hell I couldn’t. If Georgie boy stood in front of me with his pantaloons in a bunch over gay marriage, I would absolutely point out that the opinion that gay marriage is wrong is an opinion, and has no value or weight for the circumvention of rights. It’ part of a history of discrimination and prejudice; as the Supreme Court pointed out, a tradition of discrimination is in no way a valid reason to allow that discrimination to continue.

            “He would quote the Bible and proclaim the very foundation of our existence is based the Bible.” Yippee skippy. This is just his opinion, and a completely unsubstantiable one. Why should I place more value on this opinion than on Jefferson’s, or my own?

            But we’ve been through this before. Let me just cut to the end argument and we can skip looping through your pile of self-referential opinions, like your imaginary ‘proof’ that the founding fathers went out gay-lynching.

            Your God is no basis for government. Your Bible is no basis of government because, per you, it gets its validity from being the word of God. But you cannot prove your God exists, much less is concerned with the US, much less is concerned with gay marriage. Even if your God did exist, and did care about the US, and really hated the idea of two guys or two girls gettin’ it on, committing to each other, and creating a loving home for a child, I’d still object strenuously to its opinion even being consulted, because, if your Bible is as full of the truth as you claim, your God is a douchebag. An absolute asshat. Certainly not a great example of morality.

            If your arguments against gay marriage are always going to return to the Bible for validation, then your arguments are invalid. The Bible has no bearing here. Go thump it to yourself in the privacy of your own home, like any other publicly embarrassing self-indulgence. And if your response to this is that God shall certainly come a-smitin’, I’ll just repeat my challenge: You tell your God to bring it. I haven’t seen it since the last time I made that challenge, and I haven’t been smote. But you keep praying as hard as you can, and we’ll see which of us is right.

          • Anonymous

            Ask any scholar if TJ was representative of the people. He is an outlier, so my assessment is correct.

            None of us are God, with no justification to question God. He has said, He is Love. However, anyone can reject it.

            I believe in the Bible because it tells the future accurately, among other proofs.

            The majority rules in a Republic. Jefferson had the same opinion as Washington about Sin. As the Declaration of Independence states, “We are endowed from our Creator with certain unalienable rights.” They are self-evident. You cannot take them away, and they are founded on the God of the Bible.

          • Anonymous

            By your logic, if an outlier is not a reliable source for an opinion, Jesus (the alleged only son of God) must be completely worthless as a source, as must God, who, despite getting all tetchy about the possibility that other gods may get some lovin’, still is the only God. (Or so your book says, sometimes, if you pick out the right passages).

            How could anyone possibly believe that there’s no justification to question God just because someone said so once upon a time back when cultures were inventing Gods on a regular basis? Really? I would think the justification would be “I am capable of thought”. If there is a God that made us and gave us the capability of thought, I would think it’d be pleased that we used its gift to not be driveling moronic sheep. You know, those of us who are willing to be outliers.

            Your Bible didn’t predict the future, you read the future into its vagaries. Given a few thousand years, chances are my horoscope and fortune cookies will be right at least once. Hell, my dog farted while watching Michele Bachman on TV, correctly identifying her as an overblown gasbag. Of course, she farts a lot, so it was bound to happen, but clearly my dog deserves worship! Since you clearly believe in this crap, please send 10% of your earnings to “Gullible Ministries” and we’ll be happy to send you a doggie bag of her best predictions.

            The majority rules until it infringes upon the rights and freedoms of the minority. Let’s revisit your friend Adams on this subject:
            “If a majority are capable of preferring their own private interest, or that of their families, counties, and party, to that of the nation collectively, some provision must be made in the constitution, in favor of justice to compel all to respect the common right, the public good, the universal law, in preference to all private and partial considerations. And that the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by every page of the history of the whole world. To remedy the dangers attendant upon the arbitrary use of power, checks, however multiplied, will scarcely avail without an explicit admission of some limitation of the right of the majority to exercise sovereign authority over the individual citizen . . . In popular governments, minorities constantly run much greater risk of suffering from arbitrary power than in absolute monarchies . . . ”

            -John Adams (“On Government,” 1778)

            Different founders had different opinions as to the root of the inherent rights of people. What they agreed on is that people inherently have rights, and those rights must be available equally…although they did quibble a bit about those pesky women, and the slaves. Nonetheless, they set into place a philosophy of valuing freedom and rights that would drive us to question long-accepted limitations on certain minorities, and a system of government capable of rectifying the injustices.

            Your interpretation of the bible seems to have an injunction against such an evolution, and the free thought which drives it. I’m guessing that, even by your ‘majority rules’ standard, it’d fail, because most of us don’t really have a strong need to follow the bible word-for-word, and will resist an attempt to impose such a requirement upon us.

          • Anonymous

            “The point is homosexuality was a crime in the Unites States, punishable by death or prison. ”

            Failure to attend church was also punishable by death in some of the colonies. We’ve grown up since then.

            “The Bible is the foundation of the Constitution”

            Bullfeathers. The Constitution makes no reference nor homage to the Bible. Back up your claim.

          • Anonymous

            *applaud* Reference demand FTW! If he gives you one to back that claim that the founding fathers regularly sent gays to their doom for gayness, you might want to check to see if he’s referencing his own blog.

          • Anonymous

            Dear myfounderingtruth

            Your illogical boat is still sinking and you are still an idiot.

            See Article 11 from the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the US and the Bey and the Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary. This treaty was signed by John Adams. Kinda refutes your statement that the bible is the foundation of the constitution.

            “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, — as it has in itself no character of enmity
            against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,– and as the said
            States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any
            Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from
            religous opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony
            existing between the two countries.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/katie.l.berger Katie Berger Tremaine

            [citation needed]

          • http://twitter.com/BeeZagWatcher Aiden Raccoon

            Well educated in 1800 is NOT well educated.

          • Anonymous

            Maybe not in the sciences…but public schools are not really huge leaps ahead of where they were 240 years ago. In fact, I’ve heard the case made that we’re actually losing ground compared to 100 years ago in languages, reading/writing, math, and history.

            But regardless, he studied classical languages, some science, and law.

        • http://twitter.com/GlockPalin Glock H. Palin, Esq.

          If the people allow certain sins, they could hypothetically allow murder. There is no difference in the principle at all.

          Which is why no one is allowed to work on Sunday, and adultery is punished by execution.

          • Anonymous

            Hey, man, you haven’t seen my neighbor’s ass!

        • http://twitter.com/BeeZagWatcher Aiden Raccoon

          If the people allow certain sins, they could hypothetically allow murder. There is no difference in the principle at all.

          What a extremely dumb argument you just made. Gay sex is consensual by two able adults. Murder is not nor is it even hypothetically possible.

          • http://twitter.com/GlockPalin Glock H. Palin, Esq.

            Actually, his argument wasn’t that homosexuality is as bad as murder, it was that both are sins, and if you allow one sin to be legal you open the door for all the others. A slippery-slope argument in other words.

            Of course, that argument is actually stupider than the one you thought he was making, since there are many, many things that the bible considers sinful that are perfectly legal in the US, many of which have been legal since the republic was founded. Oops.

          • Anonymous

            A sin is not necessarily a crime. A crime is not necessarily a sin. Government can punish crimes by withholding rights. God can withhold Heaven, I guess, if you buy into that stuff.

            You cannot be penalized by the legal system for sins. Only for crimes. You cannot lose rights for sins. Only crimes. So whether gay sex is a sin or not doesn’t matter. What matters is if it’s a crime. It is not. So you cannot deprive people of their right to marry because they are gay.

        • Anonymous

          “Christianity condemns homosexuality, upon judgment from God. That is what the founders believed because the Bible says it.” Huh? How can this be? The word “homosexual” didn’t exist before 1892. I thought the Bible was written 2000 years ago. Please explain.

  • Anonymous

    Would you call John Adams a bigot?

    “I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.”

    –John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on December 25, 1813

    “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

    –John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813

    The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity

    –John Adams, Works, Vol. III, p. 421, diary entry for July 26, 1796.

  • Anonymous

    Separation of Church and State is a beautiful thing.. Religion has NO place in our government UNLESS ALL religions are represented EQUALLY..

    • Anonymous

      ….Including the lack of religions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XEFGEOUH52QNNSCD233KGH7UE4 Wendy Peterson

    I’m glad the Republicans in the House did this because there’s nothing in the world that’s more adorable than a pissed-off liberal. And reading this board, there seems to be a quite a few of them.

    • Anonymous

      That’s just because you haven’t seen this video: http://www.aztlan.net/anchor_baby_power.htm Sure, eventually it gets all political. But come on, I don’t even like kids, and look at how cute these are!

      We’ve really missed you, Wendy. In your absence, we’ve had to import people from New Mexico and Florida. But it wasn’t the same. Similar, but not the same…

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XEFGEOUH52QNNSCD233KGH7UE4 Wendy Peterson

        Up yours, LIBERaliTY.

        • Anonymous

          What? But that would be GAY! And I just know God would object. Wendy, I’m just shocked at your suggestion. Especially on Easter!

          Gayjack!

    • http://twitter.com/gingerjet tim

      What is sad is you are celebrating hatred and bigotry. Grow up.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XEFGEOUH52QNNSCD233KGH7UE4 Wendy Peterson

        You better get used to it.

        • Anonymous

          (It’s true. She doesn’t change in this respect.)

    • Anonymous

      it was once a lIberal Idea to Actually LET (yes LET) women have a say in Gov’t…..that’s right Wendy dear…you’re obviously a woman with ZERO clue about women’s rights / and how they obtained them……at one time deary…you, having any say in gov’t was considered a LIBERAL idea….. who fought aginst your right to Vote….wendy dear, it was Men and Religious institutions….that’s right, they thought you’d be better off with NO SAY, and that you just satya quiet,in the kitchen and keep being a Baby Factory…let your menfolk make all the decisions. Hey wendy – Look up the name Alice Paul,and educate yourself.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DDAJOUJHDTKEC7JZLVMLFRDK2U Brian

    There seems to be alot of discussion about the criminality of homosexuality and bigotry when the real issue is the issuance of marriage certificates by the state. Marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman, and God as defined by Christians (believers of the new testament principles). While the definition of marriage has changed over the years (even in biblical times) it still remained a convenant between God and the marrying parties. This was and is true even today that religion dictated the definition – not government.
    The states have usurped the word and therefore inserted itself into the meaning of that contract. It did this in order to give certain legal treatment to married parties.
    The proper resolution to this sticking point is to return the term ‘marriage’ to the religious bodies and allow them to offer marriage certificates under the definitions of their respective doctrine with said certificates holding no weight legally.

    The states should then offer civil union certificates to all consenting adults who wish to enter into the legal agreement of a union.
    Yes, this would open the door to unions consisting of man/man, man/woman, woman/woman, and unions with more than two parties. But, this is a free country and consenting adults should be legally allowed to define their union as they see fit.

    • http://twitter.com/gingerjet tim

      Based on your logic (and I’m using the term loosely here) – Atheists and others who do practice your religion should not be able to get married. That is completely false. Marriage in the United States is a civil contract. And “marriage” has always been defined by governments – not religion. What you are proposing is more radical than just allowing two individuals of the same-sex to get married.

      And “civil unions” has been tried and failed. There is a reason the United Kingdom is moving forward with complete marriage equality because it was proven that “civil unions” discriminated against a segment of society. Especially when traveling to other countries.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DDAJOUJHDTKEC7JZLVMLFRDK2U Brian

        No, tim, you are missing the boat – and have managed to be snarky while rolling in your own folly. Try to keep up. I’ll go slower.

        First, I didn’t state what my religion was, if any. Second, I merely described to you one religion’s interpretation or definition of the word marriage. That religion has held the term marriage and defined it for a longer history than the US govt or any of the states, as have many other religions.

        The government shouldn’t be defining marriage or even using the term. Our government should not have the word ‘marriage’ in any of its legislation – whether it be to define it, regulate it, license it, or make tax policy based on it. Government should be using its own term, civil union, to describe the contract between consenting adults. Government can define civil union as it chooses, but would have to be applied equally to consenting adults without discrimination.
        Picture a country where people were unioned – all consenting adults regardless of sexuality… Nobody was ‘married’ in the government’s eyes. Your tax forms wouldn’t ask ‘married filing jointly,’ but ‘unioned filing jointly.’ Nobody was married according to any state or federal government because the government didn’t recognize marriage.
        Marriage is only a civil contract in the US presently because the government has decided to usurp the term ‘marriage.’ Governments would have to replace the term ‘marriage’ with union for all intents and purposes. Done. Everyone can be legally unioned – no one can be legally married. A LEGAL marriage would no longer exist in this country. No discrimination against a segment of society, be it gays, lesbians, or polygamists. All would be unioned, even regular ‘ol straight couples.

        The only reason ‘civil unions’ have failed in the past is because they were always in the context of governments using the term ‘marriage’ as well. No, marriage and civil union can not coexist as contracts defined by the government for different segments of society. Seperate is not equal. But, government can use the term ‘civil union’ for all civil contracts. Let civil unions be the only civil contract as far as government is concerned.

        My religion ( or lack there of) defines what marriage is for me and my ‘church. ‘ Whether it be christianity, scientology, islam, the church of me, the church of you, jewish, the church of nothing, or any other ‘religion,’ marriage is for them to decide how to define based on each one’s own dogma. They can each offer a marriage certificate in their own names if consenting adults wish to enter into that spiritual contract. Spiritual contracts would, of course, not be legal.

        So, as you can see, even athiests and gays can be married and unioned if one is willing to admit that government has no place in defining marriage – let alone using the term…

    • Anonymous

      Marriage contracts predate Christianity by a long shot. However, it would be as valid to offer marriage (the civil contract) to none, or to replace licensed, legal marriage with licensed, legal civil unions. As long as it’s applied evenly, there’s no violation of the Constitution. And of course, if churches are allowed to determine whom they will marry, some will marry gay couples as well as straight.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DDAJOUJHDTKEC7JZLVMLFRDK2U Brian

        Whether marriage predates Christianity is irrelevant…
        Marriage, as a religious covenant for many religions, predates the US and the states. And, the only way for the government to constitutionally use the term is to change its definition.
        Instead of confiscating a widely viewed religious term and redefining it, pick another word.
        Let government use civil union for all couples – straight and gay.

        • Anonymous

          Okay, let’s review this logic:
          Various codes of law (i.e. the code of Hammurabi) establish a precedent for governments to regulate the civil contract of marriage. But that is somehow irrelevant.

          Then in fairly recent centuries marriage is adopted by Christianity as a religious sacrament, which in your mind somehow overrides all its previous history and definitions, including the polygamy which appears in its own Old Testament, because apparently prior civilizations are irrelevant, even the ones in Greece and Rome which largely influenced the US’ system of government. It apparently doesn’t matter to you that not everyone follows a religion; it’s “a religious covenant for many religions” and somehow that just trumps any other considerations, even the non-religious perspectives of many people and the very long history of marriage as a regulated civil contract revolving largely around property and legal rights, even in the eras when it was also celebrated with religious ceremonies.

          So when the subject of equality in access to the civil contract of marriage comes up, somehow this is “confiscating a widely viewed religious term and redefining it’, even though the religions confiscated the term in the first place from its origins as a civil contract, and redefined it without any consideration for the impact on people outside the religion. Your basis for this claim is that Christianity is older than the US, and therefore apparently gets to call ‘dibs’. The civil aspects of marriage predate Christianity, but for some reason the ‘dibs’ rule doesn’t apply. Perhaps you can explain that?

          There are many religions older than Christianity which allow marriages to include more than one spouse, or relatives. Do they get dibs? Buddhism doesn’t recognize marriage as religious, and it predates Christ by about 500 years. Shouldn’t that definition prevail? And if not, why?

          Your argument boils down to “A lot of people want marriage to mean a religious sacrament in keeping with Christianity of recent centuries, and therefore all other definitions are null and void, no matter how long those other definitions have been established within human civilization.” It disregards precedent and the rights of people outside of your religion. Trying to superimpose your religious definition of marriage on the citizens of this nation is a clear violation of civil liberties, and ridiculous to boot.

          The SC is not redefining marriage. It’s acknowledging that denying access to this civil contract without a basis other than a history of prejudice is unconstitutional, and that can’t be justified just because a bunch of whiners get pissy.

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

      You still don’t get it. You are talking about ancient society, governments do play the key role in legitimizing marriage. Marriage, and in fact homosexuals are older than Christianity. The government has no right to deny same sex couples rights that it affords all other adults just because of who they are. Homosexuality is not some lifestyle as many fundamentalists seem to think. It’s inherent. You’ve never lived that life so I don’t think you should be throwing your judgement around, especially if you are a Christian. And as mentioned before, marriage is older than Christianity anyways. You simply choose to take parts of the bible more seriously than other parts of the same weight according to the random, unqualified authors of the scriptures. You are wrong. Will always be wrong. You are wrong to say that the government has no role in defining unions. Marriage is an institution in our society today that affords many rights to couples that unions don’t. Do your research. The government would not ever be okay with legitimizing relationships between more than two people. Nice deflection attempt. You are a bigot. You are using religion to cover it up. Religious institutions can refuse gay couples. The state does not have that right. And marriage by today’s definition is a state institution.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DDAJOUJHDTKEC7JZLVMLFRDK2U Brian

        You are missing the boat – and have managed to be snarky while rolling in your own folly. Try to keep up. I’ll go slower.

        First, I didn’t state what my religion was, if any. Second, I merely described to you one religion’s interpretation or definition of the word marriage. That religion has held the term marriage and defined it for a longer history than the US govt or any of the states, as have many other religions.

        The government shouldn’t be defining marriage or even using the term. Our government should not have the word ‘marriage’ in any of its legislation – whether it be to define it, regulate it, license it, or make tax policy based on it. Government should be using its own term, civil union, to describe the contract between consenting adults. Government can define civil union as it chooses, but would have to be applied equally to consenting adults without discrimination.
        Picture a country where people were unioned – all consenting adults regardless of sexuality… Nobody was ‘married’ in the government’s eyes. Your tax forms wouldn’t ask ‘married filing jointly,’ but ‘unioned filing jointly.’ Nobody was married according to any state or federal government because the government didn’t recognize marriage.
        Marriage is only a civil contract in the US presently because the government has decided to usurp the term ‘marriage.’ Governments would have to replace the term ‘marriage’ with union for all intents and purposes. Done. Everyone can be legally unioned – no one can be legally married. A LEGAL marriage would no longer exist in this country. No discrimination against a segment of society, be it gays, lesbians, or polygamists. All would be unioned, even regular ‘ol straight couples.

        The only reason ‘civil unions’ have failed in the past is because they were always in the context of governments using the term ‘marriage’ as well. No, marriage and civil union can not coexist as contracts defined by the government for different segments of society. Seperate is not equal. But, government can use the term ‘civil union’ for all civil contracts. Let civil unions be the only civil contract as far as government is concerned.

        My religion ( or lack there of) defines what marriage is for me and my ‘church. ‘ Whether it be christianity, scientology, islam, the church of me, the church of you, jewish, the church of nothing, or any other ‘religion,’ marriage is for them to decide how to define based on each one’s own dogma. They can each offer a marriage certificate in their own names if consenting adults wish to enter into that spiritual contract. Spiritual contracts would, of course, not be legal.

        So, as you can see, even athiests and gays can be married and unioned if one is willing to admit that government has no place in defining marriage – let alone using the term…

        OH, and why shouldn’t the government allow polygamous civil unions for consenting adults?

  • Anonymous

    It would help with the discourse to distinguish “religious marriage” from “civil marriage”. The Varnum decision specifically excludes religious marriage form its decision. There is no impact at all. Churches, synagogues and mosques are free to not marry same-sex couples or to marry them as some already do. Let me repeat that. Same-sex religious marriage already exists, though it is still rare.

    The Varnum decision only deals with “civil marriage”. I think that if people would use these terms, it would clarify the discussion and the points of disagreement and agreement.

    And it would be a far more honest debate. Conflating religious and civil marriages is bearing false witness, a sin for us Christians.

    • Anonymous

      I think there is some confusion regarding civil versus religious, and some deliberate misinterpretation of the Varnum decision as affecting churches’ rights to marry or not. This despite two years of clarification….

      You’re absolutely right; Varnum is only about the civil licensing and associated legal rights. The decision specifically leaves churches to make their own decision on allowing gays to undergo the religious rite. But somehow Varnum is still portrayed as threatening to religion.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DDAJOUJHDTKEC7JZLVMLFRDK2U Brian

      There is no conflating religious and civil marriages. I think people understand quite clearly Varnum’s ruling is on civil marriage and not religious marriage. I don’t think they fear the ruling affects a church’s right to marry either.
      The problem is the government using the word marriage at all.
      There doesn’t even seem to be much protest over affording the legal rights to gays. It always comes back to the word marriage.
      Pick a different word.
      Let government use civil union for all couples – straight and gay.

  • Anonymous

    Nobody owns the word marriage or any other word. What a patetic argument!

    • Anonymous

      Did you read the one about relabeling “gay” to make homosexuals sound more corrupt and evil?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DDAJOUJHDTKEC7JZLVMLFRDK2U Brian

      No one group is claiming to “own” the word marriage.
      However, as we all know, the government must use language to write legislation and define the language it uses. In order to apply laws equally, there can be no discrimination based on gender. This leaves the government in need of redefining the word marriage or choosing a different word.
      So, choose a different word and be done with it already. Civil unions for all – marriage for none, as far as government is concerned.

      Does anyone ‘own’ the word bar mitzvah or should our government take that word over too? Thereby having to change its definition because it would be discriminatory based on age.

  • Anonymous

    Wendy,

    What an unfortunate situation that we have bought into this black or white argument of conservative or liberal! I agree with you thought! Pissed off liberals are more adorable than a few radical republicans throwing a temper tantrum.

  • Anonymous

    There is a powerful and consistent conservative argument for same-sex civil marriage. Varnum made the key conservative argument, that all civil laws should apply to all Iowa citizens equally. This is a foundational principal of our democracy and, usually, conservatives are as rabid in their support of equal protection under the law as liberals. I am actually quite mystified and somewhat horrified that Reps. Shaw, Alons, De Boef, Massie, and Pearson are so quick to argue that legislative law should trump a constitutional right.

    The second conservative argument for same-sex civil marriage is one of social engineering. A core conservative principle is that the nation is built from the family up. Same-sex civil marriage adds strength at the very base of our nation, building even more stable, private, social relationships on which our communities can thrive.

    I think that if conservatives could begin to see daylight between “religious marriage” and “civil marriage” they would begin to understand how same-sex civil marriage can benefit Iowa.

    • Anonymous

      I think a lot of conservatives would agree with you. This action seems to be the result of a fringe group of legislative noobs assuming they have a mandate from the people to continue to promote discrimination and punish justice if that justice is unpopular. But last fall’s judicial ouster seems to have more to do with a misunderstanding of what exactly the SC did (defending the Constitution, as opposed to writing a law and overstepping their authority) than a deep-seated bias against gays.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DDAJOUJHDTKEC7JZLVMLFRDK2U Brian

      The distinction is quite clear.
      The problem is using the word marriage at all.
      Pick a different word.
      Let the government use civil union for all – gay and straight.

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