Thursday, March 28, 2013

Board Backs Equality

Thanks to the four Democratic Johnson County Supervisors who voted today to back marriage equality. Just symbolic, sure, but symbols matter.

Unfortunately the vote was not unanimous as the lone Republican, John Etheredge, voted no without comment.

A special thanks to one supervisor in particular:
In 2009, the supervisors voted to send a letter to other Iowa counties in support of the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. Pat Harney voted against that proposal. But he voted for the proclamation Thursday and said no matter whether someone believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, the issue was about everyone receiving the same rights, so he would support it.
Changing position on a high profile issue is hard for anyone in politics (I know) so I especially appreciate Pat for joining Democrats from President Obama on down in coming around on this.

(Just me, or is this kinda hot?)

Salon has put together a fascinating "Gay Marriage Courage Meter" with an x axis of time and a y axis of risk and an XX chromosome-XXchromosome and an XY chromosome-XYChromosome…  anyway, it's a fascinating read and the earliest bravest one is the first congressman I ever voted against, Wisconsin's Steve Gunderson, the lone Republican to vote against DOMA. It wasn't his district that did him in - he won a tough GOP primary after getting outed in 1994. It was the Gingrich-era House Republican Caucus that made him a pariah. (Irony: The Newt was sleeping with one of Gunderson's staffers; you now know her as Mrs. Gingrich III.)

But there are still holdouts:
Now that Sens. Kay Hagan (N.C.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.), and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) have switched, just nine Senate Democrats remain in opposition, a core group that includes some of the party’s most socially conservative members: Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Bill Nelson (Fl.), Tom Carper (Del.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.).
Landrieu, Pryor, and Carper are up in 2014, though Carper's delay in blue Delaware is odd. Pryor should note that former colleage Blanche Lincoln almost got knocked off from the left in the 2010 primary, and was a goner against the Republican that fall. Johnson is retiring. The others have four to six years of social change before they face the voters, and need to lead.

Me? I have a LOT of trouble believing that Iowa is in the bottom ten states at only 2.8% gay… but then I'm from Iowa City.

No comments: