Monday, October 17, 2011

Half of Iowans Want to Outlaw My Family

Public Policy Polling does all sort of polls here in Iowa.  One of their latest polls indicated that an even 50% of my fellow Iowans would vote for a constitutional amendment to ban gay and lesbian people from marrying.  People over 65 really hate gay families.  62% of them would vote for a constitutional ban on our families, which sucks 'cuz Iowa has a high percentage of old people in it.  53% of Independents would vote to constitutionally outlaw the marriages of gay and lesbian people vs. 24% of Democratic votes.  Only 18% of Republican voters would vote against a constitutional ban on gay and lesbian marriages.

To add a little salt to the would, 48% of Iowans think that my marriage should be "illegal" versus 41% who think that it should remain legal.  67% of voters support "some form of legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples.  30% of those people think we should be happy with civil unions without really considering that the constitutional amendment that the state GOP is trying to pass would also outlaw civil unions and domestic partnerships.  29% of Iowans think that gay and lesbian couples should remain complete legal strangers.

I'm always left wishing that pollsters would ask people what we should do with the marriages that already exist between gay and lesbian couples here in Iowa.  Do my neighbors want my family involuntarily neutered?  After all, many of them believe that it's a farce.  Should existing gay marriages get grandfathered in to a post-constitutionally banned Iowa?

Part of the reason I write about my family is to show people that gay families do indeed exist here in Iowa and we're mostly pretty normal (except when we're writing about reality TV and zombies and urban chickens and real life super heroes).  Granted, I don't always write about my family as much as I could and maybe I should.  I just don't know that it does any good.  Sometimes I just feel like I'm treading water and waiting for the sharks to separate us from each other.

Iowa has been a marriage equality state for nearly three years.  Gay and lesbian couples have been getting married here throughout that time.  We live here.  We work here.  We worship here.  We raise our families here.  We play here.  And still half of the state wants to wipe out our families.  Help me find the silver lining.  Please.


Flartus said...

I can imagine your frustration. I was depressed for a week after the NC legislature voted to place a referendum on the May 2012 ballot for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

It's enough to make one consider moving. Who wants to live in a state that's basically said, "Sorry, you're not worth the same as us?" It must hurt even more knowing that it affects your sons' legal rights, too.

I've got to believe that you guys would be grandfathered in, though. Otherwise, there's a case there that could work its way to the Supremes.

mtutty said...

Don't measure your success relative to 100% acceptance by others. You're successful because you're here at all.

Did anyone ask you if divorce should be outlawed? Right. That's because they don't give a fruit fly what anyone else thinks. They're not walking through Hy-Vee wondering if you approve of their marriage.

Now, I realize it's different because it's your lifestyle on trial here. But this is your battle to fight, analogous to women's lib 100 years ago. You should feel somewhat privileged to be in the position to do so at all, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I agree it sucks, but guess what? Right now in SD 18 there's a special election going on which determines your fate and the fate of every gay, lesbian, transgender person in this state. Are you working in it? Are you calling everyone you know in Cedar Rapids? Are you over here knocking on doors to ensure that Gronstal has the votes he needs to keep equality in the state of Iowa?

If the answer is no, then don't complain - just sit back and accept whatever fate the frothing masses deliver. If you don't want to accept a world in which the hate of a majority trumps the rights of a minority then it's time to roll up the sleeves and get over here.

Jon said...

Flartus: Sorry about your situation over in NC. It's no fun being the direct target of a constitutional amendment vote. I don't envy your own situation, though I appreciate your words and your thoughts.

Mtutty: I don't want 100% acceptance. I don't care if people agree with my family. I just tire of the constant desire for people to vote it out of existence.

Anonymous: I've done stuff for the special election. Maybe not as much as you would like but I'm not just sitting back and accepting fate. I'm frustrated and I vented last night. But thanks for the lecture. And for the comment.