Iowa Voters May Object to Your Union, So Get Gay-Married Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace


Remember how everyone was kind of surprised and impressed that Iowa, which is not generally considered a bastion of equality or acceptance in any other area, made gay marriage legal? We may have been a little too excited. A poll of Iowa voters shows that 77% of them want gay marriage put to a referendum, and to have a chance to ban gay marriage in the state constitution. It is worthwhile to note that referendum voters have never, ever passed same-sex marriage. Ever. It’s also just weird, though, because apparently 35% say “having gay marriage in Iowa is just not that big a deal” and 45% say it’s not worth voting out the judges who approved it initially. That adds up to like 157%. Good luck figuring that one out. (@joemygod)

This is unsettling news on its own, but it’s even more frustrating when taken in conjunction with the Tea Partier’s announcement that they think gays and lesbians are “too powerful.” Of respondents to a poll that claimed to be aimed at “true Tea Party supporters,” 52% said that “compared to the size of their group, lesbians and gays have too much political power.” What do you even say to that? Like, really? What political power do we have? The power to have marriage taken away from us in one of the few states in which it was begrudgingly bestowed upon us? Yeah, you’re right, that’s something I’d be really jealous of if I had the privilege of being able to gather outside Congress with guns without any police response.

If anyone has it tough, it’s the Tea Party. You may remember this was the exact same argument used in the Prop 8 trials – that because we had progressed far enough to have not one but TWO gay (male) (white) (upper-class) characters on a TV sitcom, that we should rest on our laurels for a while. We still don’t know the outcome of that case – it’s entirely possible that that was somehow a legally convincing argument, and that the combination of Maggie Gallagher and Will & Grace has f*cked us all over. (@theadvocate) (@examiner)

On the other hand, maybe we really do have a chance to turn this all around – maybe somehow Iowa’s crazypants statistics mean that even if there is a voter referendum, it will turn out okay – that for the first time in US history Americans will actually vote for equality. Here’s looking at you, Iowa! Make our dyke dreams come true!


It seems almost like stating the obvious, but I guess someone has to – with all the groaning and hissy fits over ENDA, you’d think someone would have noticed that the passing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act didn’t bring any fire or brimstone raining down on us. Apparently not the Family Research Council, though, because look at this video! (@pamshouseblend)


There’s a lot of controversy within the gay community on GetEQUAL’s particular brand of activism. Regardless of how you feel, it might be interesting to you to know that co-director Robin McGehee is apparently pulling down $89,000 per year. That is more than the net worth of every employee of Autostraddle combined, just saying. (@bilericoproject)


Gawker has a headline about a group of trans beachgoers who received complaints from other beach attendees because they were allegedly sunbathing topless. Arguably just as interesting as that story, though, is the fact that I’m pretty sure Gawker has a major pronoun fuckup in its piece. What do you think? The headline is “Topless Transgender Women Bum Out Delaware Beachgoers,” and the text reads in part: “…several transgender women with breast implants were sunbathing topless. But with male genitalia, they can’t be arrested for indecent boob exposure.” (@gawker)


And the news is: we still know virtually nothing about her, even her stance on DADT. “New documents released from the days Elena Kagan served as an adviser to President Bill Clinton show little about the Supreme Court nominee’s views on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. ” (@theadvocate)


Fugitive “ex-lesbian” child kidnapper Lisa Miller, who failed to show up to a court hearing in which she was supposed to hand over custody of their child to her ex-wife, is still on the run but believed to possibly be in El Salvador. (@chron)


The New York Times is profiling a “gay Catholic voice against same-sex marriage,” a woman who identifies as gay but believes her religion requires her (and maybe everyone else gay too?) to remain celibate. It’s at the very least an interesting read. (@nytimes)


Finally some good news – husbands Genesio Oliveira and Tim Coco were reunited after Oliveira was deported almost three years ago. (@nytimes)

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. honey read the article yes the headline says 77 % of iowa voters but the article says of those who plan to vote in the republican primary
    no big surpise

    • Yeah, I found that really misleading as well. I was all “77 percent OMGWTFIOWA?!” then I looked at the article and saw that the poll was of likely GOP voters and breathed a sigh of relief.

      That changes the numbers significantly, especially if they are basing it on voter registration as it seems Iowa has a large number of people who register no party.

  2. I just like to point out that going through the Icelandic parliament is a law which will make sure there is no distinction between gay and straight marriages. It will pass since here voting against gay rights is political suicide. I mean the motherfucking prime minister is a lesbian.(we did legalize gay marriage in 1996 but in a watered down version and slowly over time all the rights were added.)

    After this the only thing gay couples can´t do that straight couples can is adopt from abroad. And you can imagine why that is

    and for the record America you have been pwned.

    • wow! go iceland!
      I can’t wait until voting against equality is political suicide everywhere.

    • I just found out that the law also states that if a lesbian couple have a child trough artificial insemination both will be registered as the child’s biological parents.

      I love the smell of justice in the morning.

  3. As an Iowan, that intro scurred me, so I broke out the good old TI-83 to crunch the numbers.

    The poll asked 1,793 Iowans whether they would definitely vote in the June 2010 Republican primary election. 501 peeps (28%) said they would. Of those 501, 386 people (77%) say Iowans should have a chance to vote on changing the constitution, specifically to ban gay marriage. BUT of those same 501, 175 don’t think Gay Marriage is a big deal. SO obviously some of those 501 are confused – like that one SNL Betty White Census skit – b/c 175 people not caring + 386 riled up about homosexiness, leads to overlap w/in the 501.

    I don’t purport to have gotten an A in stats, but the poll seems to loose validity with those contradictory responses from 12% of the 501.

    • This has nothing to do with this post, but once I thought a TI-83 was a car. Actually.

  4. i understand when people get outraged by non-profit salaries but IMO, $90K is negligible. i mean i make roughly $60K as a retail manager in nyc. i’m 24. and my net worth is, well, nonexistent due to student loans.
    but just to illustrate my point, “the median pay for top non-profit executives rose 7% in 2008 to $418,555, a fraction of the $7.6 million in median pay for S&P 500 CEOs in 2008, a USA TODAY analysis found.”
    either way, the public and non-profit sectors need to pay a living wage to attract the type of talent required to keep organizations innovative and effective. and i can’t object…

  5. holy shit that’s scary that it’s actually going to the popular vote. i think that the amazing queer author sarah schulman put it best, in an interview at

    “Because the voters have made it very clear that in every single ballot – 31 votes – we have lost. Every time it goes to popular vote, we lose, without exception. So American people, regardless of how much they watch Ellen, there is no relationship between watching Ellen and giving gay people rights. Zero relationship.

    American people do not want gay marriage and it’s the greatest strategic defeat in the history of gay politics. We have never lost anything the way we have lost this, which is quite interesting and worthy of thought.”

    • So far I haven’t read anywhere that it is going to a popular vote. This recent NY Times article makes it sound fairly unlikely at least in the immediate future.

      Let’s keep this in perspective. This was a poll of likely voters for the upcoming primary and they only used responses from those voting in the GOP primary.

      As the primary is closed, these voters have to be registered GOP. So even if this poll accurately reflects the beliefs of Iowa’s registered Republican’s, we are still only talking about less than a third of registered voters.

      It is important that we haven’t won a single ballot decision yet, and while I wouldn’t place all my chips on Iowa, I wouldn’t get too anxious just yet either.

  6. if this Robin McGehee’s full-time job is running that non-profit, then i see nothing wrong with 90 grand a year. with the way things are going, that’s hardly enough to support a family and would go even less far if she lives in a major metropolitan area.

  7. The headline is “Topless Transgender Women Bum Out Delaware Beachgoers,” and the text reads in part: “…several transgender women with breast implants were sunbathing topless. But with male genitalia, they can’t be arrested for indecent boob exposure.”

    I was confused by this because there isn’t actually anything wrong with those sentences. They both talk about transgender women. Then I saw the URL, with the original title that says transgender men. Morons.

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