Iowa not so special anymore discussion thread

What a week for marriage. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed an equality bill on Monday. The Maryland House of Delegates passed an equality bill today despite the defection of a Democrat once thought to be a supporter. The Maryland Senate has already voted for marriage in the past, so the path is clear to Governor Martin O’ Malley’s desk. He will sign the bill. Opponents of same-sex marriage will probably get initiatives to overturn the Maryland and Washington laws on the November ballot, but supporters of equality have a decent chance of winning those battles.

The New Jersey legislature also approved a marriage equality bill this week, but Governor Chris Christie vetoed it today. In effect, he flushed his legacy down the toilet in order to preserve a shot at becoming the Republican presidential nominee someday. It’s sad when an official puts his own career before the rights of thousands of constituents, but that’s politics.

In Washington, New Jersey, and Maryland, a handful of Republicans stepped up to vote for the marriage bills. The same was true when New York’s legislature passed its equality bill in June. Sadly, not a single Republican in the Iowa legislature has the guts to speak for marriage rights. I will not be surprised if a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage ends up on the 2016 general election ballot in Iowa.

Any relevant thoughts are welcome in this thread.

  • Republican senator

    Allan Kittleman (R-Carroll, Howard) will be voting "aye" in the senate. Let’s be clear: he’s not a "RINO" or "liberal."

    – Sponsored “Right to Work” legislation which would encourage job growth in Maryland

    – Strongly opposed legislation to provide “in state” tuition to illegal immigrants

    and for some perspective, Carroll County is one of the reddest areas in the state.

    More perspective: % white voters favoring marriage equality in MD: 71%. This will include just about all independents, decent chunk of Republicans. MD has the highest % of registered Democrats in the nation, around 58%-59%. About half of that will be non-white voters, perhaps more.

    I’ve just read at “Daily Kos” that white “progressives” demand that it cannot be mentioned that marriage equality is substantially less favored among non-whites. Ludicrous. If anything, it’s quite problematic to deny the voices/perspectives of non-whites while promoting your own version of reality.

    In MD polling overall, marriage equality is only narrowly favored. I’m reading a lot about the “defecting Democrat” (his name is Sam Arora) but most of it is threats to ruin his career. This is why I rarely bother with “progressive” blogs any longer.

    First, that he was contacted by McAuliffe and Clinton is not that big a deal. Arora worked for Terry McAuliffe and for Hillary Clinton in NY while he was at Columbia.

    Second, while the theories that he’s “afraid of being outed” are entertaining, his district may have the most voting Hispanics in the state. The district (19) is about 16% Hispanic, 20% African American, 13% Asian, 51% White. I imagine that Arora, who campaigned as the son of immigrants, may draw more support from minority & foreign-born voters in his district as compared to his slate mates.

    It is true that Equality MD endorsed him in 2010 but for the general, not the primary, and it’s only the primary that counts.

    I understand that people are angry about their donations and furious that he backtracked on campaign promises. I support that he’s “earned” competition in the 2014 primary, and if the challenger (someone who lost last time has already stepped up) wants to make this the key issue, that’s his prerogative. Let the voters decide.

    What I don’t support is the coercion and the threat of “finished in Democratic politics.” I’m hardly a fan when outside religious groups threaten conservative Dems or Republicans, and likewise, when so-called netroots/progressives try to coerce legislators with these kinds of threats. A legislator should be free to vote what he thinks is right and then face his constituents. Arora didn’t act honorably, but that’s what the next election is for.

    Non-Hispanic white in the state has dropped under 60% and:

    During the past decade, the portion of the state’s non-Hispanic white population under 18 years old has dipped below 50%, says William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution. “It’s a national phenomenon. If you look at the latest Census estimates, there will be a decrease in the number of white children between 2000-2010. It has a lot to do with the aging population, the relatively lower fertility rate.”

    This is what makes the upcoming (all but assured) referendum in MD the most politically interesting. Should marriage equality lose at the ballot box, it will be because of this attitude that “Dem” party is somehow equivalent to “netroots.” It’s hard to miss that the other “no” votes from the DC area are from minority-majority areas.

    Proactive outreach wins the day. Making threats, screaming “bigot” or dismissing other perspectives that are not aligned with yours means a loss in November.

    • interesting

      Looks like Kittleman is just a principled guy and doesn’t have any special personal reason for supporting equality. Washington State Representative Maureen Walsh, a Republican from a conservative district, made a splash by speaking out for the marriage bill there, but she said she was influenced by her daughter’s coming out and her desire to throw a wedding for her someday. A lot of Republicans only become tolerant of marriage rights when it directly affects someone in their immediate family (e.g. Dick Cheney, who lobbied Republicans in MD).

      I hardly ever read Daily Kos anymore, so didn’t see the post you mentioned. Know very little about Arora or his district, but he just guaranteed that his state legislative race will attract national attention in two years. It seems ridiculous to declare him “finished” already, especially if multiple Democrats challenge him in the next primary.

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