Monday, April 20, 2009

Desperate Actions to Deny Gay Marriage

The Des Moines Register writes about the desperate actions Republican lawmakers are taking to defy the Iowa Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage.

By trying to allow county employees to defy a Supreme Court ruling, desperate lawmakers are taking desperate actions.

And it appears at least one lawmaker's staff took things a step further. A county recorder sent an e-mail to colleagues about a call she took from Republican Rep. Kent Sorenson's clerk. When the clerk asked the recorder how she was going to handle the gay-marriage issue, the recorder rightly responded she would process the application, just as the law requires.

According to the recorder's e-mail, the clerk "inquired as to why I thought I had to do that - it's not a law, it's an opinion."

Sorenson said he didn't put his assistant up to making the call, but it leaves Iowans wondering what's going on at the Statehouse. Are the staff of elected officials - working on the public dime - embarking on a fishing expedition to find a county recorder who is willing to defy the law or to encourage them to do so?

County recorders have taken an oath to do a job. As of next week, that job will include processing the paperwork for gay couples who want to marry. It doesn't matter whether the government employees personally disagree with such unions. Just like it didn't matter when a gay county recorder wanted to grant such licenses before the law allowed it.

They don't get to decide which laws they follow. And if some refuse to do their jobs, they should face consequences - and find new employment.

Meanwhile, lawmakers have a job to do as well - including dealing with state budget shortfalls in the final days of the session. They should focus on doing the important work Iowa needs done - not embarrassing themselves and this state with desperate attempts to deny people their rights.

If people have a problem with a county recorder granting a marriage licence, then change Iowa law so that county recorders give a civil union certificate that would grant equal rights under the law. Then the couple could take the civil union certificate to a church of their choice if they want and get married.

I thought rightwing Republicans would believe couples get married in a church and not at a courthouse.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rep. Sorenson's clerk goes to church with the county recorder she called, and was doing so on her lunch break as a matter of personal inquiry. Simmer down with the conspiracy theories.