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Iowa Paper Fires Editor For Blog Post Accusing 'Gaystapo' of 'Rewriting The Bible'

On Monday, The Newton Daily News of Jasper County, Iowa fired editor Bob Eschliman (pictured) after he published a blog post accusing “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” of trying to re-write the Bible “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’”

HelloIn a response from Newton Daily News’ owner and Shaw Media president John Rung, Rung said:

Last week, Mr. Eschliman expressed an opinion on his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media…

There will be some who will criticize our action, and mistakenly cite Mr. Eschliman’s First Amendment rights as a reason he should continue on as editor of the Newton Daily News.

As previously stated, he has a right to voice his opinion. And we have a right to select an editor who we believe best represents our company and best serves the interests of our readers.

The Newton Daily News has also publsihed readers’ letter on the matter, most of them speaking against Eschliman’s screed.


Iowa Legislature Approves Update to 'Badly Outdated and Draconian' HIV Criminalization Law

Iowa's legislature has rewritten the law which criminalized transmission of HIV, the Des Moines Register reports:

HoggSenate File 2297 unanimously passed the Iowa House after going virtually unmentioned in the Legislature for more than a month.

The bill expands state laws against transmitting HIV to include other contagious and infectious diseases including hepatitis, tuberculosis and menningicocal disease and requires the transmission to be known for criminal charges to be filed. It's intended to revise a "badly outdated and draconian" law regarding the transmission of HIV, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Hogg (pictured), D-Cedar Rapids, and others have said.

Transmitting one of the diseases could be one of three classes of crimes depending on whether the diseased person passed the infection to another person intentionally or with reckless disregard or without informing the person of their status.

KWWL adds: "Iowa's current 709c law states a person has committed criminal transmission of HIV if that person knowingly engages in intimate contact without disclosing his or her positive status, whether infection occurs or not."

IowaOne Iowa applauds:

After a series of negotiations, a historic bill passed through the Iowa House early this morning that will modernize Iowa’s discriminatory HIV law. Iowa’s current law, 709c, is based on outdated science and beliefs that actually discourages testing and disclosure because of severe penalties associated with simply knowing one’s status. The new bill, Senate File 2297 (SF2297), will change the law so that it is no longer HIV specific, and converts sentencing into a tiered system instead of the “one size fits all” approach used in 709c. The bill unanimously passed the Iowa Senate in February, and moved to the House for debate this morning. The bill, which also passed unanimously in House chambers, will now head to Governor Terry Branstad’s desk for his signature.

The proposed changes to the law are supported by One Iowa, the state’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization, and by Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network (CHAIN), an organization that has spent the last 5 years trying to reform Iowa’s HIV law. Iowa currently has one of the harshest laws in the nation that targets people living with HIV and AIDS.

“After 5 long years of fighting to change Iowa’s law, those of us living in Iowa with HIV and AIDS can finally breathe a sigh of relief,” said Tami Haught, Community Organizer with CHAIN. “We commend the leadership in the Senate and the House for understanding the importance of this bill and the need to modernize Iowa’s draconian 709c law. None of this would be possible without the bipartisan support of Senators Matt McCoy, Steve Sodders, Charles Schneider and Rob Hogg; in addition to Representatives Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, Chris Hagenow and Chip Baltimore. The changes in this new bill are a step in the right direction.


Iowa Adoptive Lesbian Couple Heartbroken After Baby Dies In Neglectful Care of Teen Father

Baby

An Ankeny, Iowa lesbian couple are heartbroken after the death of the 4-month-old child that they had hoped to adopt.

After taking him home from the hospital, Heidi McFarland and her partner Rachel were forced to return 4-month Gabriel to his birth mother a few days before signing the final adoption papers. Gabriel's 16-year-old biological mother left the child with his 17-year-old father Drew James Wheeler-Smith at 7:30 PM to go and run some errands.

When she returned at 8:20 PM, the father was gone and the baby was dead, still sitting in his glider chair with white foam around his mouth.

The father has been arrested and will be charged after the child’s autopsy is complete. The McFarland family released a statement that read:

“It took about 30 seconds to fall in love with him. Heidi and Rachel were the perfect parents and any love, happiness and security that Gabe had in his short life was given by them. They would have treasured him forever.”


Mike Huckabee Tells Iowa Crowd: 'I'm Not Homophobic', Just on 'the Right Side of the Bible' - VIDEO

Huckabee

Mike Huckabee spoke to the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition yesterday and blasted the "Extreme Court" for letting stand the decision by a lower court against a New Mexico photographer who refused to shoot the commitment ceremony for a gay couple.

Said Huckabee:

"Why is it that Christians stand back and take it in the teeth time and time and time again? But we cannot change this country if we do not rise up and vote with an informed mind and a committed spirit and if we're not willing to stand along."

Added Huckabee:

"I'm not against anybody. I'm really not. I'm not a hater. I'm not homophobic. I honestly don't care what people do personally in their individual lives...But … when people say, 'Why don't you just kind of get on the right side of history?' I said, 'You've got to understand, this for me is not about the right side or the wrong side of history, this is the right side of the Bible, and unless God rewrites it, edits it, sends it down with his signature on it, it's not my book to change.' Folks, that's why I stand where I stand."

Watch Huckabee's remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mike Huckabee Tells Iowa Crowd: 'I'm Not Homophobic', Just on 'the Right Side of the Bible' - VIDEO" »


GOP Senate Hopeful Joni Ernst 'Grew Up Castrating Hogs', So She Can Cut Pork in Washington: VIDEO

Ernst

Joni Ernst is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Iowa (among several vying for retiring Senator Tom Harkin's seat) and she's making a big play for the pork-cutting vote.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via gawker)

Continue reading "GOP Senate Hopeful Joni Ernst 'Grew Up Castrating Hogs', So She Can Cut Pork in Washington: VIDEO" »


Man Claims He Was Fired For 'Feminine Behavior'

An Iowa man says he was fired from his job as a store clerk for "feminine behavior." Twenty-two year-old Wayne Shimer has filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and issued a lawsuit against Casey’s General Store outside of Des Moines.

The Des Moines Register reports:

IowaShimer began working at the convenience store in July 2012, according to the lawsuit.

After approximately a month, the store manager learned Shimer was gay, LeGrant said.

In a meeting in her office, the manager allegedly told Shimer not to act “feminine” in the store, according to the lawsuit. Such behavior would make customers and co-workers uncomfortable, the manager allegedly said.

“She didn’t want his ‘feminine behavior’ to scare off the customers, and she was concerned that it may have some impact on some of the employees,” LeGrant said. “(Shimer) was blown away by that, because it was something that she approached him with completely out of the blue. It hadn’t come up even indirectly before then.”

During the time Shimer worked at the store, the supervisor made “repeated” derogatory comments toward him, including “you don’t fit in normal society,” according to the lawsuit. Shimer’s husband wasn’t allowed by the manager to visit Shimer while he worked.

Shimer says he hopes this lawsuit will further deter anti-gay discrimination.

“It is my hope that this civil action will open the eyes of employers and the community and serve as a reminder that sexual orientation and who we love should not disqualify anyone from employment.”


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