Regarding the first question, I find it really interesting that more than half of Iowans either favor or don't care about the 2009 Iowa Supreme Court decision that led to gay and lesbian couples marrying in this state. Combined, that's roughly 63% vs. 37% who continue to oppose the decision. And a sizable chunk of that 63% (nearly half of that number) really doesn't care one way or the other, but wants our government to move on to issues that do actually affect their lives. Check this out:
Yet the voices heard less often are those of middle-grounders like Nick Palencsar, a 30-year-old Davenport man who is engaged to a woman and ambivalent on same-sex marriage. "It's not my issue, and I don't feel like my input is all that valid for that reason," Palencsar said. "Is that probably a cop-out? Yeah, absolutely. I'd have to sit down and really weigh all the pros and cons, but if I had to make choice, I'd probably vote against the ban."I understand that the "Don't Care" numbers can just as easily swing over to the "Oppose" side of the issue, but it's clear that there is a sizeable number of Iowans who really want government to move on from gays marrying and begin working at rebuilding our limping economy.
Palencsar might be a perfect example of a large group of Iowans whose voices are often overshadowed on same-sex marriage issues. He has his MBA, but he's currently unemployed and worried about practical issues like the economy. He used to be a staunch Republican, but he now considers himself an independent because he believes the GOP has moved too far right on social issues and its core theme of fiscal restraint. He's a Christian, but he says a gay marriage ban would hurt a minority group.
"American politics has become so polarized - you're either very liberal or very conservative, and there's no middle ground for people like me," he said. "A lot of these politicians aren't listening to what is a fairly substantial moderate minority."
President Obama and the Department of Justice's recent announcement that they will no longer defend the DOMA law in federal court due to their belief that it is an unconstitutional law. Not surprisingly, Iowa Representative Steve King is upset with that decision and has come up with a punishment for the President: Defund the DOJ:
“We have the authority to do a few things, and one of them is to control the budget. The resources that they would be using to defend the DOMA law in court are not necessary to appropriate to them. So with open rules on appropriations, that’s an opportunity to bring an amendment that will reduce their budget by an appropriate amount. To continue funding a Justice Department that defies their oath to the Constitution and refuses to enforce the laws of the U.S. is a terrible precedent to tolerate. So the first thing is to send a very strong message by cutting the funding to the Justice Department."