IA Sen. Gronstal: ‘You Guys Don’t Understand. You’ve Already Lost.’

Said Gronstal:

"One of my daughters was in the workplace one day, and her
particular workplace at that moment in time, there were a whole bunch
of conservative, older men. And those guys were talking about gay
marriage. They were talking about discussions going on across the
country. And my daughter Kate, after listening for about 20
minutes, said to them: 'You guys don't understand. You've already lost. My
generation doesn't care.' I think I learned something from my
daughter that day, when she said that. And Ive talked with other people
about it and that's what I see, Senator McKinley. I see a bunch of
people that merely want to profess their love for each other, and want
state law to recognize that. Is that so wrong? I don't think
that's so wrong. As a matter of fact, last Friday night, I hugged my
wife. You know I've been married for 37 years. I hugged my wife. I felt
like our love was just a little more meaningful last Friday night
because thousands of other Iowa citizens could hug each other and have
the state recognize their love for each other. No, Senator McKinley, I will not co-sponsor a leadership bill with you."


  1. The Realist says

    What is even more beautiful is, he made that speech knowing that it cold be political suicide for him. Yet, he still made it and is taking this stance because it is the right thing to do.

  2. johnny says

    Misleading headline… looks like it’s his quote, but actually he’s quoting his daughter. I truly love that this is posted and am a fan, but the spin is a tad much.

    If Towleroad starts doing what the right does with headline quotes, (i.e. bad context) is it any better?

  3. Mike says

    Oh Lord… here come the commercials aka “Whsether you like it or not…” – but you know what, he was absolutely correct as was Mayor Newsom! I now truly believe the right wing fanatics that are freaking out about this are more concerned with losing a major fund raising tool rather than caring anything about gays getting married. Once marriage equality goes mainstream the $$$ stop for them and the “gay boogie man” goes away. I’m sure they are actively looking for their next target though…

  4. RB says

    Very moving speach, and it is true! It is only a matter of time. The younger generation, independents, dems and repubs just do not care. They have already lost and the clock is ticking.

    This could very well be political suicide for Gronstal but I suppose that he knows that. However, he did the right thing.

    And one more thing, Johnny, are you serious? Would you have felt better if Gronstal had said nothing or if Andy failed to post his speach. I think you are stretching just a tad.

  5. Mary from Iowa says

    This also appeared in my local paper when reporting on the talk on the senate floor: “I have no intention of taking it up,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs. “I’m not going to put discrimination in the state constitution. It’s just a horrible idea.” I might have to sent him flowers.

    I’m just very disappointed by Governor Culver.

  6. Jeff In Boston says

    @johnny: Really, you’re over-reacting don’t you think? This is akin to a politician quoting Lincoln to make a positive point about an issue, and people assuming that what the politician means is he agrees with Lincoln about that point. Which, of course, makes for clunky heading if you tried to point this out without losing the most important part of the speech. The headline wasn’t inaccurate. This is exactly what Gronstal said, and the headline would have been accurate even in quotation marks because it’s what came out of Gronstal’s mouth. Good headline TR.

  7. nic says

    decency is yet alive in the heartland.

    JOHNNY, don’t be a tool. should ANDY have posted “‘You guys don’t understand. You’ve already lost.'”? sheesh!

  8. Yeek says

    Great comment, but I wonder if it’ll be used as a rallying point for the opposition in the same way as that “marriage is here, whether you like it or not” quote. That played over and over in California, and apparently motivated a lot of opposition.

    Oh well, fuck it. Well said!

  9. MikeMick says

    Leave it to the Midwest to produce an elected official with such courage and common sense. Thanks for the addy Sean, I just wrote him to say what I said here.

  10. Gianpiero says

    This is excellent. It’s the type of deliberate, forceful and public standing up to our opponents that we need to see more often on legislative floors across the country. It has a lot in common with the protests and vigils we have seen in recent months, protests often filled with younger supporters who, like Gronstal’s daughter, can’t believe this is still an issue for people. The key difference in this case is that Sen. Gronstal is actually in a position to help stop discriminatory legislative pushback from moving forward.

  11. Sam says

    Senator Gronstal’s speech was beautiful. I applaud his taking a stand and doing so with such elegant simplicity.

    And a thank you to Sean in the comments for the Senator’s e-mail address. I happily sent the Senator a thank you for his statement.

  12. lis says

    Senator Gronstal is now on my hero list. It’s so great to see somebody be so REASONABLE and yet so blunt with his opposition. He’s right, his daughter is right. I’ll be sending him an email shortly.

  13. johnny says

    @Jeff and nic:

    Don’t shoot the messenger. A better headline would have been : Sen. Gronstal: “I won’t sponsor a leadership bill with you.”

    If someone doesn’t hit the “jump”, they’ll never know that his daughter said the original quote.

  14. Tom@NWOH says

    Wow…So simple and yet, spot on. His type (and his daughter’s type) of thinking is gradually catching on when the opposition keeps making outrageous and ridiculous claims. I sent him a short note thanking him for his comments.

  15. Danny says

    To those concerned that the quote could be mis-used by gay marriage opponents in the same manner as the quote from Mayor Newsom: it is a valid point in general. We all should be sensitive to “lording” a victory over our opponents because, as Prop 8 showed, things can change.

    That having been said, Gronstal’s daughter’s quote is fundamentally different from that of Newsom. Newsom was saying that CA had marriage as the result of the CA Supreme Cout decision whether the opponents liked it or not. Gronstal’s daughter, who was speaking prior to the Iowa court ruling, was making the point that the opponents had “already lost” because gradually, due to demographic shifts, a consensus was building in favor of marriage equality. In other words, Gronstal’s daughter was embracing democratic change, not rejecting it.

  16. Mark Smith says

    It’s quite hilarious, this generational thing, you know. Obviously, those old white conservative guys haven’t been in a high school recently, had a discussion with ANY high schoolers, nor have they read any articles written by any high schoolers, nor been on Facebook, etc.

    TEENS DON’T CARE. The only ones who do are those raised in fundie households. And when those teens raised in fundie households who are gay/lesbian come out, they make an even more important statement about the ridiculous nature of mythology in our culture.

    The old white conservative guys are a dying breed. They are on the wrong end of history already. The funniest part about it is that they don’t even know it.

    We’re becoming post-Christian – just like Europe already has done – and the old white conservative guys haven’t a single clue.


  17. Smartypants says

    Yes, Sen. Gronstal has taken a risk by standing so firmly in favor of equality, but I suspect his constituents will back him up. His plain-spoken decency is genuine and he’s shown political courage by taking a potentially career-ending stand on a controversial issue. I doubt that, in the end, Sen. Gronstal will be hurt by this. In fact, I’d wager he will gain even more well-deserved recognition and respect his courageous leadership.

  18. nic says

    thanx, SEAN, for posting the senator’s e-mail addr. i sent him a note thanking him for his decency and courage.

    i have heard his short speech several times, and i can’t help but cry each time. it is so simply stated but so powerful. brief but eloquent. pointed but not harsh.

    he had a lot to do with his daughter’s character. clearly, the apple did not fall far from the tree. he is a real man.

  19. Ric says

    I echo what others have posted here, Senator Gronstal should be proud of himself and his daughter. Living in Massachusetts where we’ve been able to legally wed for several years now we feel pretty safe even though there are some that would like to repeal the marriage equality in this commonwealth. One thing I would like to point out though is that EVERY rep and senator that voted against marriage equality and ran for re-election lost. Every rep and senator that voted for marriage equality and ran for re-election won.

    Having grown up in Massachusetts and seen the turmoil of the forced bussing and segregation and knowing about the bigotry that historically resides in South Boston and the Catholic Church, I was shocked, pleased, and very proud to be the first state to have marriage equality.

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