Saturday, April 4, 2009

An Apology for Iowa

State seal of IowaImage via Wikipedia
Yesterday the Iowa Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled in favor of gay marriage. This makes Iowa the third state to legalize gay marriage and the first midwest state. I had many reactions to this. My first was WOO HOO! The next was "See even Iowa gets it." I also couldn't believe the decision was unanimous.

I didn't know anything about Iowa up until 20 years ago. at that time my cousin started dating someone from Iowa. The first things I learned were Iowa jokes. Thinks like
Why do all the trees in Illinois lean? Because Iowa sucks.


What does Iowa stand for? Idiots Out Walking Around
Now these jokes were only used around the family and most of them we learned from our new Iowa friend. My cousin ended up marrying the women and I traveled to Iowa for the wedding. While all the people were nice and the wedding was great I couldn't help but think, "Wow this place kinda does suck."

Well today I'd like to appologize for all the Iowa jokes I ever told. I owe Iowa so much more than that. That state has been a leader when it comes to overcoming discrimination as Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy said in their joint statement on the Iowa Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality.

Here’s their full statement:

“Thanks to today’s decision, Iowa continues to be a leader in guaranteeing all of our citizens’ equal rights.

“The court has ruled today that when two Iowans promise to share their lives together, state law will respect that commitment, regardless of whether the couple is gay or straight.

“When all is said and done, we believe the only lasting question about today’s events will be why it took us so long. It is a tough question to answer because treating everyone fairly is really a matter of Iowa common sense and Iowa common decency.

“Today, the Iowa Supreme Court has reaffirmed those Iowa values by ruling that gay and lesbian Iowans have all the same rights and responsibilities of citizenship as any other Iowan.

“Iowa has always been a leader in the area of civil rights.

“In 1839, the Iowa Supreme Court rejected slavery in a decision that found that a slave named Ralph became free when he stepped on Iowa soil, 26 years before the end of the Civil War decided the issue.

“In 1868, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that racially segregated “separate but equal” schools had no place in Iowa, 85 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.

“In 1873, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against racial discrimination in public accommodations, 91 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.

“In 1869, Iowa became the first state in the union to admit women to the practice of law.

“In the case of recognizing loving relationships between two adults, the Iowa Supreme Court is once again taking a leadership position on civil rights.

“Today, we congratulate the thousands of Iowans who now can express their love for each other and have it recognized by our laws.”

So thanks again Iowa! You are having a hell of a year. First you gave Obama his first win in the primaries and now gay marriage - who knew?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment