Tomyamaguchi’s Weblog

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Marriage Equality in Iowa

I have been working on my Twitter posts, trying to see how I can express a complex thought into 140 characters or less. It reminds me of E.B. White’s Satirical essay Irtnog, in which all printed material for that day is condensed into a 6 letter word. This my tweet on Iowa’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage:

Happy about Iowa, but violation of state constitution can be changed with constitutional amendment. Think Prop 8. LGBT need Fed Govt rights.

Since my Facebook status is set to update with my tweets, a Friend responded via Facebook:

The Iowa legislature has a Democratic majority, and the amendment process will take at least two years. It was in Iowa that a gay teen first invited his partner to the prom. When journalists descended on the small Iowa town, the principal explained that he could invite his mother if he wanted, that they had no restrictions on prom dates. Iowa has long had a mix of views. I’m not sure Iowa’s constitution would be easy to change, given how many people will see friends, coworkers, and family members marry over the next two years.

My reply to her was:

Yes, we can hope that opinion continues to shift in our favor during that period of time. My political outlook tends to be 50% optimist and 50% skeptic. I am optimistic that everything will work out, but skeptical that it will be any time soon.

I expressed my optimism in an earlier post on Proposition 8. Yes, our society is moving toward acceptance of LGBT rights as a legitimate civil rights issue. I compared the passage of Prop. 8 with the repeal of the Rumford Fair Housing law in 1964. Unfortunately, when I watched the state Supreme Court deliberate over proposition 8’s constitutinality in March, I learned the big difference between the two. The difference is federal government recoginiton of rights for racial minorities. There is no such recognition of LGBT people. Until there is, we will have to fight for equality, state by state. California is expected to uphold Prop. 8 as a legimate amending of the constitution. Eventually, all LGBT people will have their civil rights protected on the national level, though I don’t expect it to happen very soon.

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April 5, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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