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Taking a stand for equality… despite the costs

Marriage equality

By Adam Bink

On the heels of Louis Marinelli launching his own summer tour, a prominent Iowa Republican is taking the banner of freedom and equality for his own party:

A former Republican senator next week will unveil a new advocacy group for conservatives who support same-sex marriage.

The group, being launched by former Sen. Jeff Angelo, challenges the GOP’s standard opposition to same-sex marriage.

Support of same-sex marriage has traditionally been viewed as a ‘liberal’ stand, which Angelo – who calls himself a conservative –  rejects.

“This debate centers around the devaluation of the lives of a select group of people,” Angelo of Creston told the legislature during a public hearing earlier this year when he first spoke publicly in favor of same-sex marriage. “At its worst, we are being asked to believe that our gay friends and neighbors are involved in a nefarious agenda. The outcome of which, supposedly, is the unraveling of society itself.”

Five years ago Angelo, who did not seek reelection in 2008, co-sponsored a bill that would have launched a process to amend Iowa’s constitution and prohibit same-sex marriage.

Angelo has since said his former position on the issue was wrong.  He has said his views have evolved because of his friendships with Iowans who have same-sex couples in their families. Those families deserve the same protections of marriage as similarly committed opposite-sex couples, he has said.

“I don’t think this debate reflects the character of Iowans, the culture of Iowa,” he told The Des Moines Register last week. “Iowa is culturally a state that is very welcoming, that celebrates its people, is very protective of its people.”

The new group will be called Iowa Republicans for Freedom.  The group will formally launch Wednesday at 11 a.m. on the west Capitol terrace near the intersection of Locust St. and Pennsylvania Avenue in Des Moines.

Courage to Sen. Angelo. People like him and Louis lost and will lose a lot of friends and colleagues for the sake of equal rights.

More here.

37 Comments

  • 1. Bob  |  May 28, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Republicans for Freedom,,,,,, I love it,,,,,, and also look forward to see what kind of steam Louis can build for his tour,,,

    It would be so powerful for him to be able to tell some truths about NOM,,,,, specially if his tour gets any media attention,,,,,

  • 2. Sagesse  |  May 28, 2011 at 4:33 am

    I think the tone of Louis's equality tour will be very different from the NOM tour, and I hope he finds local groups (such as the Republican group in Iowa) supportive.

    NOM and their followers don't strike me as the counter-protesting types. NOM only shows up when they have a podium that is theirs to control, and their followers sit or stand obediently by to be preached at.

  • 3. Sagesse  |  May 28, 2011 at 5:11 am

    OT, but this interview between Lady Gaga and Stephen Fry is delightful.

    Lady Gaga takes tea with Mr Fry

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/0cca76f0-873a-11e0-b983

  • 4. Sagesse  |  May 28, 2011 at 8:58 am

    DADT: For Memorial Day Jewish Women Demand Congress End Repeal Opposition

    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/dadt-for-mem

  • 5. cooner  |  May 28, 2011 at 9:15 am

    It's nice to see more and more prominent conservatives come out in support of gay rights and marriage equality. Clearly being thoughtful and compassionate and logical rather than ideological.

    It sorta makes me wonder, though, when more Democrats are going to realize they have to stop sitting on the fence on this one … Equality shouldn't be a partisan issue, but it's sort of sad when more and more Republicans are becoming more progressive on these issues than many Democrats are!

  • 6. Sagesse  |  May 28, 2011 at 9:21 am

    No mention of where he stands on DADT repeal.

    Army Leader Is Reported Pick to Lead Joint Chiefs of Staff

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/us/29military.h

  • 7. Don in Texas  |  May 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

    … the Census Bureau has broadened the definition of family this year to include unmarried couples, such as same-sex partners, as well as foster children who are not related by blood or adoption.

    And attitudes on marriage are changing, too. About 39 percent of Americans say marriage is becoming obsolete, according to a Pew Research Center study published in November, up from 28 percent in 1978.

    Full story: Married couples in less than half of U. S. households.

  • 8. Don in Texas  |  May 28, 2011 at 9:33 am

    @Cooner#5:

    This nation was founded on the democratic principles of liberty, equality and justice.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…" — Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

    "Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…" — Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

    ""The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man's spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred against the government, the right to be let alone—the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." — Justice Louis Brandeis, dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 1928

  • 9. Sagesse  |  May 28, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Illinois has a referendum process?

    ILLINOIS: Porno Pete Stages Anti-Gay Marriage Rally In Downtown Chicago

    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2011/05/illinois-por

  • 10. NetAmigo  |  May 28, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I have a question for readers. My local community college in Fairfiield, CA permits an out of state right-wing religious outfit to put up a tent on campus and proselytize the students. Everything is mostly hidden and covered up about what is happening. It is called The 99 by an outfit at victory.com. They openly attack "homosexual behavior" and such "immoral lifestyle". I think there is no excuse for having this activity on a public campus but don't know where to turn. I have tried to raise concerns in the local paper but my comments are being filtered out. I would be interested in suggestions from readers here. I'm not active in the gay scene and don't have contacts to turn to. I try to keep a low profile and avoid assassination.

  • 11. Sagesse  |  May 28, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Rahm Emanuel, Pat Quinn To Attend Inaugural Illinois Civil Unions Ceremonies

    http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=8495&…

  • 12. Tony Douglass In Ca  |  May 28, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Has anybody heard from our friends in Russia, anybody in Moscow today?

    Dozens arrested in Moscow gay rights parade clashes via CNN http://tinyurl.com/3r6p9mq

  • 13. jpmassar  |  May 28, 2011 at 11:52 am

    @Netamigo

    ACLU, Lambda Legal, California Attorney General's office

    At least one of them might be able to answer whether it is legal or not for the college to allow them to do that.

  • 14. jpmassar  |  May 28, 2011 at 11:53 am

    @Sagesse

    From what I can determine, it's advisory only. The Illinois constitution makes no mention of creating laws or constitutional amendments by referendum that I can find.

  • 15. Sagesse  |  May 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Fox news on CA school's gender diversity program

    Fox Host, Tony Perkins Bash School Lesson On Gender Diversity

    http://equalitymatters.org/emtv/201105260007

    Second Fox Guest Bashes CA Diversity Program For Creating “Gender Confusion”

    http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201105270006

    Fox Airs Third Segment In Two Days Bashing Gender Diversity Lesson

    http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201105270016

  • 16. jpmassar  |  May 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    @Tony

    From Dan Choi:

    Released. No charge, no fine. Russians stay in police custody probably overnight.

    Few bruises on left leg, scratches and swelling right ear. Punched in the face 5 times. Still alive. Overall best pride march yet.

    http://gay.americablog.com/2011/05/us-gay-rights-

  • 17. Sagesse  |  May 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Maddow Zeroes In On Minnesota's Constitutional Amendment Vote

    http://equalitymatters.org/emtv/201105240006

  • 18. Carol  |  May 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    @NetAmigo – jpmassar's suggestions are good ones. You could also try the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office at http://www.cccco.edu.

    Good luck!

  • 19. Tony Douglass In Ca  |  May 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for the update! That's cruel what they did to him, they clearly targeted him. Glad he's OK, but that's sad that he considers that one of the good ones.

  • 20. NetAmigo  |  May 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Okay thanks. I'll make some contacts and see what happens. It really burns me up to see these outfits carry on like this. They do it because they think they can get away with it.

  • 21. AnonyGrl  |  May 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    The 99 that NetAmigo is talking about is the same as the Hell House Halloween haunted house that the religious right put on.

    http://www.lsureveille.com/opinion/the-c-section-

    Here is a quick review of it. Basically there are several "rooms" in a walk through tent set up where the kids who are encouraged to come see it are confronted with grisly horror scenes, then the last room is "hell" where Jesus is being tortured, or some such nonsense. There are lots of people there to preach at attendees, and tell them that unless they repent (and yes, homosexuality is one of the big things they want you to repent) you are going to hell.

    I think an organized group of people standing around outside saying "Once you get in there, you will be preached at pretty much non stop. These people are evangelists and this is all just to get you to go to their church. Oh, and by the way, their 'special effects' are pretty cheesy, and if you want to learn how to make gory makeup, take a class, you will be able to do it better and your teacher will not pray over you or try to save your soul" to everyone standing in line waiting to get in might do some good.

  • 22. NetAmigo  |  May 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    What really disturbs is that this outfit is out of state. Here’s a link where you may download their catalog.

    http://www.victory.com/system/resources/vwmtc/vwm

    If you download the document he provided from this outfit, you will find their code of conduct states on pages 28 and 29 that they oppose “homosexual behavior” and such “immoral lifestyles”. As a taxpayer, why do we have to support an out of state outfit coming in to spread a message of hate and ignorance attacking local tax-paying gay and lesbian parents and their children? Here’s another link that the local paper provides about some of the controversy.

    http://www-new.dailyrepublic.com/featured-stories

    They are filtering me out now and I am no longer able to post on their site. They’ve been pretty good letting me post for some time. I’m probably lucky I haven’t been assassinated so far as I’ve come down fairly hard at times. I did succeed in getting a local Baptist minister to stop attacking the gay community publicly. When I arrived several years ago, he regularly preached hell and damnation to gays and lesbians in the paper with letters to the editor and guest editorials.

  • 23. AnonyGrl  |  May 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    NetAmigo,

    You worry me slightly in that you have said "assasinated" several times. Are you in actual danger for some reason? Speaking up in this country doesn't get one assasinated.

  • 24. NetAmigo  |  May 28, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Times are changing AnonyGirl. There is less chance of physical violence today than in the past. I grew up in an earlier era where one really had to be careful. When I interviewed for my first job out of college, the first thing I was asked was whether I was a "homosexual". The interviewer then launched into a tirade against homosexuals and how he would never work with one. This was in Seattle. The man went on to become the Republican chairman of the local Republican Party and fought all his life against the gay and lesbian community. I got to know the man fairly well in the couple of years I worked with him. Although he had a wife and children, I believe that he was a closeted gay man who fought his whole life against his normal proclivity and used his church as support to try to control his urges. I guess that I say "assassination" a bit in jest but I'll probably never lose totally my caution instilled from growing up in an earlier era.

  • 25. Sagesse  |  May 28, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Debate over judge's sexual orientation not likely to affect Prop. 8 case

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-gay-judge

  • 26. Sagesse  |  May 29, 2011 at 12:13 am

    After fighting for decades over who has the right to vote, trying to limit those rights is still political sport. Would be OT if these laws did not require extra organizing effort to encourage supporters, particularly young people) to register and to vote.

    Republican Legislators Push to Tighten Voting Rules

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/us/politics/29v

    By comparison, here in Canada, there is a question on the tax return where we give permission to notify Elections Canada of our address information. All citizens are allowed to vote without separate need to register… this process just puts/keeps you on the list automatically for federal and provincial elections in the polling district where you reside. A person can be added to the list right up to and including voting day by providing proof of citizenship, age and address. With this most recent election, government-issued photo id is required, but an affidavit from a citizen is accepted for those who do not have one.

    I am curious about the practical impact of US voting requirements on younger people. Are they less likely to vote because they're less likely to vote, or because they don't take the steps necessary to register for the first time, by the registration deadline? Many students attend college away from home… how easy or difficult is it for them to vote?

    On the subject of government-issued photo id, the most common (in Canada) are a driver's licence or a passport. A side benefit of government sponsored universal healthcare is that newer health cards have a photo on them. The most amusing id is a proof of age card, issued by the provinces and mostly used by students to prove they are of legal age to be served alcohol or buy cigarettes. But anyone can get one. My 90 year old American mother has never driven a car, and never had a driver's licence and she is by no means the only senior who carries a proof of age card with her picture on it.

    I recall an article early on when I first began to follow the Prop 8 trial and the history of marriage equality in CA. The author cited one of the most important, and neglected organizing tools was to have voter registration booths at every pride event and rally to assist/encourage supporters to register and to vote.

  • 27. Sagesse  |  May 29, 2011 at 12:41 am

    It's not over till it's over… and it never seems to be over.

    Republicans holding fire on D.C. same-sex marriage law — for now

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/politics/repu

  • 28. Sagesse  |  May 29, 2011 at 12:44 am

    # 26.

    Also note Brian Brown falling all over himself grasping at straws in the last few paragraphs.

  • 29. bill  |  May 29, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Sagesse,

    laws vary by state, and I can only relate to mine.

    the real key is registration. when I worked as a precinct worker, about 1/3 of the voters would automatically show a drivers license, passport (rare), or student ID WITHOUT anyone asking for it. I'll admit it did help finding their names in the registration book on how their name was spelled. If they were voting for the first time, and had not registered with the county registrar of voters in person, we had to check an id. There are about 7 types that are accepted–usually most people have a drivers license or student id card.

    Once registered, only a signature is required, which is checked with the signature which is on file–you get to the point where you can check the signature upside down.

    Americans get very defensive about sharing any information from the tax return.

    NPR (check npr.org) had a program on recently about voter ID which discusses many of the issues. The problem seems to be how to issue a photo ID to those who need one, but don't drive. But the whole process starts with the registration roles, and not the ballots. Making sure that someone is allowed to register is the key.

    The other thing which has changed is the provisional ballot which allows a vote to be cast, subject to further check by the registrar of voters to see if the person was indeed registered (often in another precinct whose records we did not have access to–we only have the registration list for the precinct we're working on.) Some of that has changed also with the advent of early voting and electronic voting machines which allow a person to vote at any machine with the correct ballot anywhere in the county. Those locations have access to the complete registration list, with the associated signatures.

    I've just touched issues. Again, when you deal with names ranging from Chinese to Polish, something that helps you see how the name is spelled does speed up the process, especially if one's hearing is not that great to begin with. Please realize that most precinct workers are over 55 or 60.

  • 30. bill  |  May 29, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Sagesse,

    also required now is a state wide system to check names and addresses. When people move, the registrar of voters is the last change of address people thing of since voting is only every 2 years. the statewide systems are supposed to pick up changes in addresses when someone moves from one precinct in the state to another one. but the prime responsibility still rests with the county registrar of voters.

    Again, let me emphasize the main check point is the registration roll. An ID (short of a passport) will not really tell you if the person should be allowed to vote. Americans do not have a national identity card–except a passport.

    A drivers license substitutes for one, but is not really designed as one. There was a great hue and cry about making a drivers license a national ID, but the Dept of Motor Vehicles and the State did not want to foot the bill to make it one. Even the US Social Security number is not a universal ID. Although by default it becomes one especially for taxes, but that is likely the only place where it is required under federal law. Going back to the days of Senator Barry Goldwater the federal govt passed a law that the SSAN was not an ID number. Some of this may have changed due to terrorism prevention measures

  • 31. christian louboutin  |  May 29, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I usually write a blog, I really admire your content. The article does peak my interest. I want you to bookmark the site and save the information for the brand new inspection.

  • 32. BK  |  May 29, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    *sigh*

    Just FYI, poster #30 (christian louboutin) has posted on separate threads, and all his comments are very similar. His name provides a link to a shopping website of sorts… it's getting on my nerves. :(

  • 33. Rhie  |  May 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I am cynical about their motives and their long-term commitment to this. If they are still hammering these points home after the 2012 and especially after the 2014 election cycles I'll be more willing to believe it.

  • 34. Sagesse  |  May 29, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    New York: Why Won't Bloomberg Stop Supporting Anti Gay Republicans?

    http://www.gayapolis.com/news/artdisplay-issues.p

  • 35. Sagesse  |  May 29, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Fate of N.Y.'s same-sex marriage bill hinges on votes of undecided state senators

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/BK/20

  • 36. John B.  |  May 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    He's not running for election or re-election so the political cost to him is pretty minimal. And I doubt that he will lose many friends or colleagues over this because except for the strident anti-gay right wing who actually make a living off of their opposition to our rights, I suspect that many Republicans and other conservatives are not personally anti-gay, or at a minimum are in the process of rethinking their positions. After all, they don't exist in vacuums; the culture is changing around them and they have friends and family who are either gay-supportive or gay themselves. But as long as their anti-gay political positions win them votes and get them elected, they will continue to take those positions. Yes, it's political hypocrisy of the worst kind, but the only way it will change is when their positions start making them lose elections. The good news is that we are rapidly reaching that point.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that this guy is doing this. But it would be so nice if more Republicans would take positions like this when they're running for office, or already in office and our rights are coming up for a vote. So the big question is, can we get more people like Mr. Angelo to change their minds while they're still in office?

  • 37. fiona64  |  May 31, 2011 at 6:47 am

    NetAmigo (#10) wrote: It is called The 99 by an outfit at victory.com. They openly attack “homosexual behavior” and such “immoral lifestyle”. I think there is no excuse for having this activity on a public campus but don’t know where to turn.

    Go to a) your student government and b) your faculty president — simultaneously. This is a blatant violation of the separation clause, as community colleges are supported by taxes.

    Love,

    Fiona (still too lazy to log in)

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