When “Protecting Marriage” Means Ignoring Marriage

Jim Burroway

April 15th, 2009

The Des Moines Register has a very small blurb about a new bill that a state Senator wants to introduce now that the Senate is winding down:

No Iowans should be forced to recognize a gay marriage if they\’re religiously opposed to it, a state senator said Tuesday.

Sen. David Hartsuch, R-Bettendorf, said he is proposing a bill that says “a person shall not be compelled to recognize a marriage solemnized in this state if such recognition conflicts with the person\’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

It\’s too late for lawmakers to file new bills, but Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley asked the Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal Tuesday to sponsor the bill with him. Gronstal said he\’d consider it.

This would broaden the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision, which held that no religion would beforced to recognize a marriage it didn’t want to, to include virtually anyone. But this bill, it seems to me, would run afoul of the state Supreme Court decision, opening up same-sex couples to precisely the kind of discrimination that the Supreme Court sought to address.


April 15th, 2009

Well, sounds to me this if this happens, they’ll have to be open to people refusing to acknowledge straight marriages as well.


April 15th, 2009

If I were an Iowan, I would then only recognize marriages between men and box turtles.

I can’t imagine that this bill would get any sort of traction at all.

Timothy Kincaid

April 15th, 2009

This is an invitation to lunacy.

This would allow some principal of a grammar school to refuse to allow some fathers to pick up their children, if they so wanted. They could just say that the school doesn’t recognize Catholic marriages, for example, and because the assumption of parenthood is legally tied to marriage, there’s no reason to think that you’re actually the father. Go hunt up the birth certificate.

Or Methodists could be denied gym family discounts. Or florists could decide that mixed race weddings conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral objections.

Or rental halls could refuse to rent for the reception of a Jewish wedding. Not because they discriminate against Jews on the basis of religion. No, they just find Jewish weddings to conflict with their religious beliefs.

None of that would eventually hold up.

Nor would the courts let gays be the only religious objection exemption. If you can bend your religious objections enough to let the Wiccans and the mixed-faith and the Justice-of-peace marriages to get your little discount or buy your flowers or rent your hall then your objection isn’t really based on religion at all.

The irony is that these repressive heavy-handed power plays always backfire. When the religious folk pushed through the Equal Access Act to get Bible Clubs in public schools, they got very few Bible Clubs and a whole lot of Gay-Straight Alliances.

I can happily watch what happens if this doozie gets through. Because it will impact a lot more straight weddings than gay ones.


April 15th, 2009

I am from rural Iowa and proud of the ruling by our state Supreme Court in this mater of equality.

This hair-brained idea by Sen. David Hartsuch, R-Bettendorf is bad on so many levels. Does he then see that a person could then decide?
1. I don’t like the fact that this person is divorced twice so I cannot solemnize this third marriage.
2. I don’t like the fact that you are Jewish and you are Catholic so I cannot solemnize this marriage.
3. I don’t like the fact that you’re fat and you’re skinny so I can’t solemnize this marriage?
4. I don’t like the fact that you are already pregnant so I can’t solemnize this marriage.

The list could go on and on.

If we are going to make marriage, man/woman marriage) more stable we should amend our state constitution to ban divorce and alcohol as true threats to its sanctity. Those two things do more to lead to the dissolution of marriage and threaten the health and well being of our families. Gay people will not harm us, but divorce and alcohol, there one can actually prove harm to the institution.

Ben in Oakland

April 15th, 2009

What this idiot is really proposing is that discrimination on the basis of religious belief should be OK. But if you say that, he’ll deny it. Which exposes the real agenda- to say that discrimination because you don’t like gay people is OK because it is about gay people, and hey, we’ve ALWAYS hated them.

What this idiot does not recognize– and what should be emphasized– is that this is in no way about anyone else’s religion beliefs. It is strictly about how the GOVERNMENT treats its citizens– that’s why we call it equality before the law– not some idiot who thinks he’s a Christian because he goes to church on Sunday, or thinks he’s god because he is a legislator.


April 15th, 2009

Eh, it would just get struck down by a Federal Court anyway.


April 15th, 2009

Or an Iowan Court itself, it’s not an Amendment. Anyway, it’d be completely Unconstitutional.


April 16th, 2009

I’ve had some fun with the antis. At one forum where they were whining about “loss of religious liberty” I suggested the following: since changing most laws would be too complicated and messy, they could probably get their way with just one change. That would be a special law allowing them absolute free speech about SSM. They could be as verbally hostile on the subject as they wanted in public, and in print, and that would lead gay people and SSM supporters to avoid them and their institutions, social clubs, etc. entirely.

For some reason they avoided engaging idea. Personally, it seemed like the exactly the thing they were asking for in all their whining about violations of their their First Amendment rights. You give them the privilege they’re asking for, and somehow that just isn’t enough or just not the right thing. (Very strange. LOL) I’m trying to think of some additional First Amendment-type special privileges to offer them, short of a right to physical violence.

They’re just not taking the bait. They know perfectly well that a special anti-SSM speech law means they’ll all get exposed as vile crackpots, psychos, and screaming bigots in short order.

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