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12/06/2008

IA 'judicial activism': Tony launches preemptive strike

by Jeremy Hooper

Iowa_flag Iowa is a big state to watch in terms of the marriage equality fight.  We won in the lower court, and next week our case goes to the Supremes, where that body of justice will decide whether to (a) do the right thing or (b) so the thing that the far-right thinks is right.

Well one dude who certainly hopes for the latter is the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins.  T.P. writes the following in his latest Washington Update:    

Governor Chet Culver, a Democrat and longtime opponent of gay "marriage," has said publicly that the court's ruling could be subject to corrective action in the legislature. "Let them do their work, and then we can respond and react if we need to," he said. Culver has hinted that he would call Iowa's lawmakers into a special session to pursue a marriage protection amendment, if necessary. One of those lawmakers, state Rep. Mary Mascher (D), tried to argue that the move could be politically risky for Culver.

But I would argue that in today's cultural climate what's risky is trying to advance an anti-marriage agenda that American voters continue to reject at the ballot box-even in the nation's most liberal states. FRC will be monitoring the case as it unfolds. In the meantime, we stand behind Gov. Culver as he works to make the voice of his people heard.

Okay, well first off: Justice is never risky.  For Tony justice might be risky, since fair-minded rulings tend to go against his anti-gay agenda.  But in a perfect world, the judiciary's reasoned, principled, accurate constitutional readings only pose a threat to those who prefer mob rule, God's law, or both.  The rest of us see great value in trained legal scholars doing their job.

So here we have Iowa.  In this state, it's the Governor and the legislature who Tony sees as the potential allies, so that's where he's throwing his support.  And since his side is emboldened by the recent "wins," he's also working the idea the we now live in an anti-gay world.  Funny, as at various other times we've heard Tony decry Governors, legislatures, and this "pro-gay climate" that we call 21st century.  But that's the "pro-family" movement for ya -- shift the tone to fit the ultimate, unrighteous, discriminatory mission.  The only through line is bias. 

Will we win (no quotation marks) in the Hawkeye State?  Maybe, maybe not. But will Tony and his crew "win"?  Not possible. Why? Because the arc of justice will always be bent towards fairness.  No freedom-stifling Dem Governor, short-sighted legislature, or professional anti-gay activist will ever change that fact.

Battleground Iowa [FRC]

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Your thoughts

I asked about this at Pam's and got this answer.

According to the Des Moines Register:
Amendments need to be approved by simple majorities in both the House and Senate in two consecutive general assemblies, then must be approved by a simple majority of voters in the next general election. Each general assembly lasts for two years. This year [2008] is the second year of the current general assembly. That means if an amendment is approved this year and in the 2009 or 2010 legislative session, it can be on the general election ballot in November 2010. If lawmakers wait until 2009 to start the amendment process, the earliest that a proposed amendment could reach voters is November 2012.

And if a special session does get called, we can point out to the legislators how PISSED people will be if what happened in California happens a second time.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Dec 6, 2008 12:29:44 PM

I would think a good stratagy for gay marriage in general would be to stall... statistically, support grows slightly every year. To every year it's put off translates into a couple more percentage points at the polls, if it comes to that. If Prop 8 had been on the ballot in 2012 rather than 2008, that would probably have made the crucial few percent needed to change the outcome.

Posted by: Suricou Raven | Dec 7, 2008 1:59:40 AM

The problem with that though... the self-declared pro-family organisations are aware of it, and currently trying to push through state anti-gay ammendments as quickly as possibly for exactly the same reason.

Posted by: Suricou Raven | Dec 7, 2008 2:00:33 AM

As a fellow activist in the Hawkeye state. We are looking forward to the hearings, but we can no doubt expect to see the heavy hand of prejudice and intolerance play out if the Court votes in favor of marriage. We can expect to see a swift and intent backlash against a favorable ruling in Iowa. They did it for the DOMA here and while we have been able to keep the constitutional amendments off the ballot, we can be assured we will have battle cries and charges of loyalty-patriotism thrown at legislators to get them to pass such a ridiculous hateful measure. I would invite you to read my "Concessions of Equality" paper.

Posted by: iowatiger | Dec 8, 2008 9:40:47 AM

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