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Iowa Gubernatorial Candidate Warns Voters: Gay Marriage In Jeopardy


Democrat and Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch (pictured) is running for governor, and he's warning voters that this year's state election could be crucial for gay marriage.

The GOP is poised to take control of the state's government; the party currently controls the House, and things look good for a Republican-led upset in the Senate — the Democrats currently have majority by a thin margin of 26-24.

Further, the Des Moines Register speculates that Senator Hatch defeating sitting Republican Governor Terry Branstad would be an "uphill battle."

Hatch emphasizes that if House, Senate, and Governorship go red on November 4, things could get complicated for Iowa's same-sex married couples. Says Hatch:

It is very clear [getting rid of same-sex marriage] will be [Republicans'] No. 1 priority and Iowans should be very skeptical of that...People who believe in marriage equality should realize the rights we have in Iowa are only as good as the quality of our politicians and the words of our Constitution. If they want to change the words of our Constitution, we should be very scared of the agenda of the Republican leadership.

Gay marriage in Iowa was legalized by a unanimous State Supreme Court vote, but the decision could be effectively reversed via amendment to the Iowa constitution, as Hatch says. An amendment first must pass simple majority votes in the House and Senate for two consecutive general assemblies. Then, if this happens, the amendment goes out to the citizens for a vote, and it becomes law if it gets approval from a simple majority of voters.

As Hatch points out, with regard to gay marriage, this year's election is a tight and crucial one. 

Iowa Lesbian Couple Wed After 72 Years Together Speaks Out: VIDEO


Earlier this month, we told you about Vivian Boyack (91) and Alice “Nonie” Dubes (90), the Iowa couple who finally tied the knot after being together for 72 years. The story of their wedding went viral and suddenly, two women who had learned to live very private and quiet lives were thrust into the spotlight. After numerous requests for interviews, Vivian and Nonie finally decided to open up and share their story. The Des Moines Register reports: 

They got flowers and letters from people they didn't even know.

For so long, their love was not public. But when the news broke about their Sept. 6 wedding, their story was spread across the Internet and social media. In one week, decades of silence ended. They had never before talked to anyone about their relationship.

"In all those 72 years, no one said anything about it, either negative or positive," said Vivian, 91, sitting across the dining hall table from Nonie, 90, on Wednesday at a Davenport retirement community where they have lived since 1987.

Though the couple says, "we've always been married in our hearts," their friend Jerry Yeast, whose known the pair since he was in college, noticed one remarkable change in the couple since they said "I do":

"I began to hear them addressing each other as 'sweetie' or 'dear' which they had never done before in public," he said. "They had learned to live with their heads down so long. And now they don't have to live with their heads down."

Watch the touching interview with the couple, AFTER THE JUMP...


Continue reading "Iowa Lesbian Couple Wed After 72 Years Together Speaks Out: VIDEO" »

Hillary Clinton Speaks To Thousands of Iowan Supporters, Hints About Presidential Bid: VIDEO


Hillary and Bill Clinton made a public appearance at the 37th annual Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa this past weekend. Despite being a tribute to retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, the more than 5,000 attendees treated the event more like a presidential rally, sporting “Ready for Hillary” paraphernalia.

Both of the Clintons encouraged the crowd, composed of Iowans and out-of-towners from Kansas and Kentucky, to remain active and engage in the Democratic party’s Senate and congressional campaigns.

“Hello, Iowa, I’m back," Clinton intoned to the cheering crowd. “Let's not let another 7 years go by."

Clinton last spoke in Iowa after placing third in the 2008 Iowa caucuses behind Barack Obama and John Edwards. Despite not explicitly making any mention of her plans on running in 2016, Clinton took time to talk to her supporters about “that other thing.”

“Too many people only get excited about presidential campaigns,” she expressed. “It’s true, I’m thinking about it. But for today, that’s not why I’m here.”

Despite her insistence on keeping the gathering focused on Senator Harkin, Harkin himself made a point of highlighting Clinton’s career and assuring the crowd that there were “many more chapters to be written in the amazing life of Hillary Clinton.”

Watch footage of Hillary Clinton speaking at the 37th annual Harkin Steak Fry AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hillary Clinton Speaks To Thousands of Iowan Supporters, Hints About Presidential Bid: VIDEO" »

Ninety-Year Old Gay Couple Wed After 70-Year Relationship


Here's a story from Iowa that'll bring the misty to your Monday. They've been together for 72 years, but Vivian Boyack (91) and Alice “Nonie” Dubes (90) have only just tied the knot.

On Saturday, the two women were married in a small, intimate ceremony of close friends in Davenport, Iowa's First Christian Church.

Guests included Jerry Yeast, 73, a longtime friend who first met the two women as a teenager doing their yardwork. Yeast assured Quad City Times: “I’ve known these two women all my life, and I can tell you, they are special."

Boyack and Dubes first met in Yale, Iowa — their hometown. In 1947, they moved to Davenport where they live now. Boyack worked as a schoolteacher, and Dubes worked in payroll.

But their small town life hasn't limited the two women from adventure —Boyack and Dubes have traveled extensively, visiting all 50 U.S. states, all the provinces of Canada, and England.

During their wedding ceremony, Rev. Linda Hunsaker acknowledged the couple's longterm commitment, saying: “This is a celebration of something that should have happened a very long time ago.”

Fired Editor Sues for Religious Freedom to Write About 'Gaystapo'

Robert Eschliman, former editor-in-chief of the Newton Daily News, is suing his one-time employer on the grounds that he was terminated because of his religious beliefs. Eschliman was ousted last May after taking to his personal blog to express his thoughts on what he understood to be the “LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo effort to reword the Bible to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.”

ImagesWhile Eschliman wasn’t using the Newton Daily News to voice his opinions, the paper nonetheless felt the need to distance itself from him after its readers expressed their outrage.

“The First Amendment does not eliminate responsibility and accountability for one’s words and actions,” wrote John Rung, president of Shaw Media which owns the paper. “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.”

In his lawsuit Eschliman describes the entire situation as pure religious persecution.

“That blog post described my sincerely held religious beliefs regarding Holy Scripture and the definition of marriage,” Explaind. “My comments on my blog were personal in nature and reflective of my sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Read Eschliman’s full intake questionnaire detailing his side of the story AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Fired Editor Sues for Religious Freedom to Write About 'Gaystapo'" »

Monday Speed Read: Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, G-7 Commitment, Capital Pride

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service


A federal judge in Wisconsin Friday struck down the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying and, while some clerks began issuing marriage licenses immediately, the state attorney general said he would seek an emergency stay. In Wolf v. Walker, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb (a Carter appointee) said the ban violates the constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. She said she would address the state’s motion for a stay after she receives briefs from both parties later this month as to how they think she should word an injunction against enforcement of the ban.


In her 88-page decision in Wolf v. Walker, Judge Barbara Crabb addressed concerns of opponents head on: “This case is not about whether marriages between same-sex couples are consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of a particular religion, whether such marriages are moral or immoral or whether they are something that should be encouraged or discouraged…. Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.”


Judge Barbara Crabb also had this to say about conservative organizations’ argument that marriage is essentially about procreation: “Civil marriage is a legal construct, not a biological rule of nature, so it can be and has been changed over the years….”


A private attorney filed a lawsuit in federal court in North Dakota Friday, making that state the last one whose ban on same-sex marriage is under challenge by a lawsuit. Joshua Newville of Minneapolis filed the lawsuit, Ramsay v Dalrymple, on behalf of seven couples in Fargo.


The owner of a wedding business in Des Moines has appealed to the state supreme court to stop an investigation by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission of the business’s refusal to serve same-sex couples. Lambda Legal announced June 5 that it had filed a brief with the Iowa Supreme Court on behalf of a same-sex couple who had been refused service by the Gortz Haus Gallery. The group notes that the Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations.


The language was not part of the G-7 agenda going into the June 4-5 meeting, but the “Declaration” issued June 5 by the seven nations of the G-7 summit calls for the promotion of “all human rights.” The final statement says: “We reaffirm our commitment to the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including religious freedom, for all persons. We recognize the need to show unprecedented resolve to promote gender equality, to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, to end child, early and forced marriage and to promote full participation and empowerment of all women and girls.” The G-7 nations include Canada, France, German, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


Washington, D.C.’s Pride parade Saturday was sponsored by the Marriott Hotels, whose owner is from a devout Mormon family and contributor to the Mitt Romney campaign.  The parade was led by a U.S. military color guard. And in an address to celebrate Pride Month at the Pentagon June 5, DOD Deputy Secretary Robert Work singled out several people for recognition. Among them were Brigadier General Tammy Smith, the first openly gay general officer in the U.S. military; Amanda Simpson, the highest ranking transgendered civilian appointee to the DOD; and Eric Fanning, Under-Secretary of the Air Force.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


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