Friday, August 21, 2009

Iowa Civil Rights Commission Reaffirms Marriage Equality

Iowa's bipartisan Civil Rights Commission voted unanimously Thursday to formally support the state's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. In addition, they voted to oppose any constitutional amendment that would ban marriage equality that would officially undo the decision.

The commission is a bipartisan group of seven Iowans appointed by the governor to be neutral investigators in cases of reported discrimination.

Republican Commissioner Rick Morain told the Desmoines Register that he felt a constitutional ban would undermine the very same document.

"I don't think we're saying that there can't be a constitutional amendment raised. I mean, that's under the constitution," said Morain. "My personal feeling is that if that kind of amendment were adopted, it would clash with Article 1 of the constitution, which is the Iowa Bill of Rights."

"To me, it would not be consistent with Iowa's long-standing tradition of equality and the right to happiness to pass that amendment," Morain added.

With many Iowa GOP gubernatorial candidates against marriage equality, many calling for an amendment, and a special election coming up to replace a representative appointed to an office by President Obama, the issue of marriage equality will definitely by a subject of the campaigns.

Lez Get Real reports:
When President Obama appointed former Democratic Iowa State Rep. John Whitaker as the Iowa director of the Farm Service Agency, he open the door to a candidate who is going to make same-sex marriage in Iowa a major issue in his campaign.

The Republican candidate in the special election for Iowa House district 90, Jefferson County Supervisor Stephen Burgmeier, became known this past spring after he called for resolution to forbid Jefferson County Officials from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples soon after the Iowa Supreme Court’s issued its opinion upholding a lower court’s decision that granted marriage equality in that state."
Thankfully this bipartisan commission's decision has been announced before these races gather steam. Marriage equality opponents running for office will be hard pressed to come up with a response to a commission whose sole purpose is to protect citizens' civil rights. Would you want to oppose them if you were running for office?

No comments:

Post a Comment