It’s day four for legal same-sex marriage in Iowa, and I still haven’t seen any reports of couples being refused a marriage license anywhere in the state. The Des Moines Register reported that about 350 same-sex couples received marriage licenses on Monday, the day the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling in Varnum v Brien went into effect. More than half of those applications were in five large counties: Polk (Des Moines area), Johnson (Iowa City), Linn (Cedar Rapids), Pottawattamie (Council Bluffs) and Scott (Quad Cities area).
According to this map on the Des Moines Register’s site, about half of Iowa’s 99 counties have issued at least one marriage license to a same-sex couple. No counties have denied marriage licenses yet, but many have yet to receive an application from a same-sex couple.
Today Iowa Politics is holding a forum on the Supreme Court’s Varnum v Brien decision. The panelists will be Brad Clark, campaign director of One Iowa, and Brad Sherman, a pastor in Coralville who is also a board member for the Iowa Christian Alliance and Miracle Life Ministries, and Choices Medical Clinic. This free event will be in Drake University’s Levitt Hall in Old Main, 2507 University Ave. in Des Moines. The event later will be broadcast on the Mediacom Connections channel statewide and will be available for On Demand viewing on Mediacom Channel 1. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and taping of the show will be from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
– Online: http://www.esurveycentral.com/…
– E-mail: info@Iowapolitics.com
– Phone: (515) 309-2941
Speaking of One Iowa, the group is trying to raise $25,000 by the end of April (that’s today) in order to collect on a matching gift that will keep their television ad on the air. Click here to watch the ad and donate.
The Des Moines Register’s business section featured an article on Thursday about gay-friendly wedding planners. Resources mentioned in the piece include gayweddingswithpanache.com, myiowagaywedding.com, iowasgayweddingplanner.com and iowagayweddingdirectory.com. Beau Fodor of gayweddingswithpanache.com said the most frequent questions he’s been asked by out-of-state wedding seekers are whether people can get married on one of the covered bridges of Madison County and whether they will need to hire security for their wedding because of protests from those who oppose gay marriage.
The New York Times reports that more Republicans are “rethinking” the party’s stance on gay marriage:
The fact that a run of states have legalized gay marriage in recent months – either by court decision or by legislative action – with little backlash is only one indication of how public attitudes about this subject appear to be changing.
More significant is evidence in polls of a widening divide on the issue by age, suggesting to many Republicans that the potency of the gay-marriage question is on the decline. It simply does not appear to have the resonance with younger voters that it does with older ones.
Consider this: In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released on Monday, 31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view.
Next week I’M for Iowa is bringing Alexander Robinson of the National Black Justice Coalition to Iowa to talk about marriage equality. After the jump I’ve posted an e-mail from I’M for Iowa, which contains background information on Robinson as well as event details.
We are honored to host Alexander Robinson’s visit to Iowa next week. As a gay African-American who heads the National Black Justice Coalition, Alexander will share his story and dialogue with Iowans about civil-marriage equality. With the help of a great list of coalition partners (see below), we’ve organized events for Alexander in Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Waterloo, Iowa City, Dubuque, Clinton, Davenport and Cedar Rapids. Complete details are in the EVENTS section of this update.
Alexander was a former CPA and corporate executive who also sports a long history as a public policy analyst and commentator. He spent three years as an independent political strategist and communications specialist serving a wide variety of public interest groups including the NAACP, National Council of LaRaza, National Urban League Policy Institute, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Alexander’s activism began in the late 197 0s. He served on the board of the Stonewall Democrats, was a member of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade & Celebration Committee, served on the Host Committee for the 1984 Democratic National Convention, and helped with the March for Lesbian/Gay Rights. President Clinton appointed Alexander to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, where he chaired the Sub-committee of Prevention and Education.
He also worked with the Breakthrough Foundation’s Youth-at-Risk Program, the Washington Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and was a member of Obama for America’s National LGBT Steering Committee. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including most recently the Andrew Goodman Freedom Prize.
A writer and political commentator, his coming out story is chronicled in the recently released book, Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America. Alexander’s writings have appeared in The New York Times, Bilerico.com, BlackAmericanWeb.com, The Advocate, The Washington Blade and numerous other local and national journals.
Alexander and his partner Gregory Satorie were married in San Francisco in October of last year, and he has one son from his previous marriage. Alexander and Gregory make their home in Baltimore, Maryland.
We are grateful to all the Iowa groups who have worked in coalition with us to make this tour possible, including:
Cedar Rapids Gay Lesbian Resource Center
Cedar Rapids Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Civil Rights Forum of Progressive Action for the Common Good
Clinton Community College Student Senate’s Diversity Programs on Campus
Clinton Human Rights Commission
Clinton Peace Coalition
Clinton YWCA Hallmark Committee
Des Moines Human Rights Commission
Dubuque Parents, F amilies & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Faith United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids
Fort Dodge Human Rights Commission
Interfaith Alliance of Iowa
Iowa Civil Liberties Union
Iowa Civil Rights Commission
Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans
Marriage Equality USA – Iowa Chapter
Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities
Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa
Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa
Progressive Coalition of Central Iowa
Waterloo Human Rights Commission.
Webster County Cultural Diversity Team
Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you at one of next week’s events.
Lynn and Ed Fallon
May 4 – Reception for Alexander Robinson – Des Moines
Alexander is the president and CEO of National Black Justice Coalition and is touring Iowa to discuss the recent court ruling on marriage equality. The reception is at 7:00 p.m. at the Des Moines Social Club, 1408 Locust Street, Des Moines. Please join us for an informal gathering and the opportunity to welcome Alexander to Iowa.
May 5 – Public meeting with Alexander Robinson – Fort Dodge
The meeting is at 9:00 a.m. and will be held at Citizens Central, Fort Dodge Senior Center, 617 Central Ave., Fort Dodge. The event is co-sponsored by Fort Dodge Human Rights Committee, Webster County Cultural Diversity Team, Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, Equality Iowa, One Iowa, and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.
May 5 – Public meeting with Alexander Robinson – Waterloo
The meeting is at 12:00 noon, and will be at The Philanthropy Cente r, 425 Cedar St., 3rd Floor, U.S. Bank Building, Waterloo. The event is co-sponsored by the Waterloo Human Rights Committee, Equality Iowa, One Iowa, and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.
May 5 – Public meeting with Alexander Robinson – Iowa City
Alexander will speak in the Plaza Conference Room at the Hotel Vetro on the Ped Mall in downtown Iowa City. The event is organized by Connections, begins at 7:00 p.m., and is co-sponsored by Equality Iowa, One Iowa, and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. Contact email@example.com.
May 6 – Public meeting with Alexander Robinson – Dubuque
Alexander will speak at 9:00 a.m. at Naughty Dog Coffee Bar and Deli, 1108 Locust St., Dubuque. This event is co-sponsored by Dubuque Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa, Equality Iowa, One Iow a, and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.
May 6 – Public meeting with Alexander Robinson – Clinton
Alexander will speak at noon over lunch at La Feria Mexican Restaurant, 116 5th Avenue S, Clinton St, Clinton. The event is co-sponsored by Clinton Human Rights Commission, Clinton YWCA Hallmark Committee, Clinton Peace Coalition, Clinton Community College Student Senate’s Diversity Programs on Campus, Equality Iowa, One Iowa, and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.
May 6 – Public meeting with Alexander Robinson – Davenport
Alexander will speak at 2:00 p.m. at Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities, 3019 N. Harrison, Davenport. Co-sponsors for this event include Civil Rights Forum of Progressive Action for the Common Good, Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities, Equality Iowa, One Iowa, and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.
May 6 – Public meeting with Alexander Robinson – Cedar Rapids
Alexander will speak at 7:00 p.m. at Faith United Methodist Church, 1000 30th St. NE, Cedar Rapids. This event is co-sponsored by Cedar Rapids Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Cedar Rapids Gay Lesbian Resource Center, Faith United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids, Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa, Equality Iowa, One Iowa, and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. Contact Sandy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 7 – Panel Discussion with Des Moines-area African American leaders
Alexander will participate in a panel discussion at 7:00 p.m. at Polk County Central Senior Center, 2008 Forest Avenue, Des Moines. Panelists include Tim Tutt, Yvonne Jones and Kittie Knauer. Light refreshments will be served after the event. Sp onsors include all our Des Moines-area and statewide partners, listed above.