Iowa House Approves Amendment To Ban Gay Marriage, Makes Our Hearts Hurt

Today in Des Moines, Iowa, 62 jerks and 37 really fantastic humans gathered in a room to vote on House Joint Resolution 6, the amendment which seeks to repeal the state’s “marriage equality law” and prohibit same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. The Resolution passed, 62-37.

“I want to stab them in the livers,” said Rachel Kincaid, Senior Editor at

The bill will move on to the Iowa Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal – who is apparently on our side – will fight attempts to pass this amendment which seeks to legalize bigotry and discrimination, causing a pernicious trickle-down effect which eventually makes lots of gay people hate themselves. Both houses of the Iowa legislature have to approve the measure in order for it to be put up for referendum. If that happens, it might be on the ballot in 2013, but “if Gronstal is successful in blocking a Senate vote this year, the earliest it would go before voters would be 2014.”

A KCCI-TV poll in June 2010 found 53% of Iowans favored same-sex marriage rights and 41% apparently had nothing better to do with their brains than to make their gay friends and neighbors miserable.

An earlier poll from the Des Moines Register found 62% of Iowans felt lawmakers had more important things to worry about than same-sex marriage. Apparently the economy and world hunger just wasn’t enough.

How could anyone see these testimonies and decide “I need to stop this from happening?” Is it us, or is it getting kinda inhumane in here?

At this point my attention has shifted from “What are the chances this will actually work? What is a referendum? Will it pass in the Senate do you think?” to “Why are so many people so mean and close-minded?” More to the point, why did a specific density of them have to be located in Iowa at this particular time? Iowa was one of our big victories of 2009, and reminded ourselves of again and again when we lost every single ballot measure concerning gay marriage. We know in a vague, technical sense how this happenedmidterm elections, a general shift towards social conservatism in important political seats across America. But in a more abstract and more important way, in the part of us that knows we should be happy for other people when they have something that they want and that makes them feel good, we still don’t get it. Why Iowa? Why, Iowa?

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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  1. That kid man, how proud are his parents of him right now?

    “But in my 19 years not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realised independently that I was raised by a gay couple. And you know why? Because the sexuality of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.” I can’t even.

  2. I was there, there were a lot of us wearing blue in support of marriage equality, 4 of 5 times the number of people for the resolution to pass. There were a lot of really moving testimonies given. I’m kind-of ashamed at my state right now. Defiantly going to be calling my senator as more or less begging him to stand up for marriage equality.

  3. Pingback: Will ‘Bluest of Blue States’ OK Gay Marriage?, Iowa House Approves Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage, Makes Our Hearts Hurt, GLBT Conference in Minneapolis has ‘Creating Change’ on Agenda, and more… »

  4. Ugh. This makes me sad. But I swear, if I ever see Zach Wahls I am going to run up to him and give him the biggest hug ever. And…its Iowa, soooo there’s a high probability that we’ll run into each other at Pride or the Iowa State Fair. I am placing my trust in Mike Gronstal…if he fails I will never be moving back after college.

  5. The good news is that it’s really, really freaking hard to get a constitutional amendment passed in Iowa. It needs to be passed in both the House and Senate for TWO consecutive sessions before it can even get on the ballot. So they’ve got a long way to go before they can get anything substantial accomplished – and OneIowa and the rest of us sane Iowans are planning on being a huge pain in their ass.

    I can’t say that I’m particularly proud of my state, because I have issues with it in general, but honestly we are actually full of awesome people who believe in equality and fair-mindedness. The reason this is happening now is just pure politics – I’d bet you anything that the number of Iowans who actually believe in all the drivel the conservabots were spouting at the hearing is very little. People here are very compassionate and warm-hearted, 95% of the time, and it’s not a horrible place to be gay. I feel like I have to say this because I’m kind of really humiliated and ashamed of where I live right now.

    That being said, um yeah, I live in Kent Sorensen’s district and I totally know his daughter and let me tell you, that guy needs to be locked up. Douche.

    • I’m not sure how I was warp tubed to such and old post, however, this is the first thing that has made me laugh since my dad died on Tuesday. Literally, I just laughed beer out of my nose and decided to come out of lurk mode and tell everyone about it. Thanks for the wet iPad and shirt.

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  7. Oh puh-lease, the repubs are only doing this because their real vision for America is much harder to implement:


  8. Pingback: North Carolina Looks to Outlaw Already-Illegal Same-Sex Marriage | North Carolina News

  9. You know, I do believe that this country is very slowly moving in the right direction. But, I also believe that that the fact that it has taken this long and met with this much resistance is a travesty. I think it speaks volumes to our values as a country.

    Do I believe that one day gay people will be able to marry in the US, we will have a woman president, and so on? Yes.
    But, until that day my partner and I will be waiting in Canada.

    For women.
    For the Love of Women.

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