Columns / Discourse / April 8, 2009

Iowa did what?

Last Friday, in a belated April Fool’s joke, Iowa’s supreme court legalized same-sex marriage.

Now, you’d expect this sort of thing from California and Massachusetts. But from Iowa? Really? Iowa? The one with all the corn? I guess it must be just fed up with being known as “the boring state” and it’s acting out.

Although, if we look internationally, it’s not that surprising. Other countries that have legalized same-sex marriage include Sweden, Finland, and Canada. In other words, places where you would try to force your beliefs on your neighbor, if the weather weren’t too miserable walk over to their house. In that case, Iowa fits right in.

With thousands of same-sex couples begrudgingly making their way from places like South Beach and San Francisco to the Iowan tundra, the state may develop into a Midwestern same-sex marital Mecca. This has many conservative Iowans saying, “Crap, we’re gonna be getting Muslims now, too?”

Even though all their arguments are just rationalizations stemming out of a hateful bigotry, when it comes to same-sex marriage, I think fundamentalists have a point. America is built on the principle that marriage is between a bald chubby man, and a woman who’s much too good looking for him. Not to mention, it’s simply impossible for American children to have any sort of grounding if they don’t grow up with both a materialistic mother and a verbally abusive father.

But I’m not convinced about the biblical proof. Fundamentalist Christians point to the Genesis story of Sodom and Gomorrah, a exciting action-adventure tale filled with cities blown up by the wrath of God, men offering their daughters to be raped by refugees, and women turning into salt. Yes, you can clearly interpret this story to mean it is a sin for men to love men. But, I think homophobic biblical literalists should relook the line: “Be fruitful and multiply.” If you really wanted to uphold the word of God, according to this, you’d have to become a flamboyantly gay mathematician.

That said, I think we should be proud that three out of fifty states are providing the civil liberty and equality guaranteed to their citizens by the U.S. Constitution. Although, realistically, it’s not likely to last all that long. Like a rubber cross knocking down a whack-a-mole in drag, right-wingers tend to stamp out same-sex marriage wherever it pokes out its head, whether it be through amending constitutions, whining really loudly, or burning down the Reichstag.

My advice to any same-sex couple looking to elope: pass on Iowa. Wait until the same-sex marriage whack-a-mole pops up somewhere with a better climate. Who knows, Hawaii might be next.

Ben Lee

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