Broad coalition stands up for marriage equality

About 200 people attended One Iowa’s Equality Red Blue Purple event on Sunday in Des Moines. A coalition of more than two dozen statewide organizations, including major labor unions, oppose a constitutional amendment to rescind same-sex marriage rights in Iowa. Republicans as well as Democrats have signed on as co-chairs of Equality Red Blue Purple, and dozens of local organizations have joined the coalition too. After the jump I’ve posted the full list of co-chairs and coalition members.

On Tuesday, supporters of marriage equality plan to deliver “over 15,000 postcard petitions to legislators in every district in the state,” according to One Iowa’s Justin Uebelhor. Opponents of same-sex marriage plan a large rally at the capitol on Tuesday as well.

This week One Iowa’s television ad, “This Place,” will run in the Des Moines market. The ad was created soon after the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling last April. It depicts marriage equality as consistent with Iowa traditions of fairness and protecting our freedoms under the state constitution.

Click here to donate to keep this ad on the air for an extra week.

Democratic legislative leaders have vowed not to allow floor votes on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage during the 2010 legislative session. However, Republicans will try various procedural tricks to force a vote on the issue. I expect Democratic lawmakers to stand firm against a marriage amendment, and I hope that they won’t cop out when confronted by constituents who want to ban gay marriage.

On a related note, a lawsuit against California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages, goes forward this week in federal court. The lead attorneys are David Boies and Ted Olson, who were on opposite sides during the Bush v Gore case that decided the 2000 presidential election. Writing in Newsweek, Olson laid out “The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage,” which is worth a read.

However, not all advocates of marriage equality support the strategy of appealing Prop 8 in federal court. At Daily Kos, SoCalLiberal laid out the argument against pursuing this lawsuit, favoring an effort to repeal Prop 8 at the ballot box in 2012.

Equality Red Blue Purple:

Speakers (at Sunday’s event)

• Danny Homan, AFSCME Iowa president

• Ken Sagar, Iowa Federation of Labor president

• Matt Mardis-LeCroy, Interfaith Alliance chair

• Rudy Simms, Des Moines Human Rights Commission

• Jill June, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland president

Republican Co-Chairs

Joy Corning, Former Lt. Governor

Christine Hensley, Member of Des Moines City Council

Matt Walsh, Member of Council Bluffs City Council

Mike Simonson, Republican Activist

Ted Coppock, Republican Activist

Democratic Co-Chairs

Christie Vilsack, Former First Lady of Iowa

Sally Pederson, Former Lt. Governor of Iowa

Mike Gronstal, Iowa Senate Majority Leader

Pat Murphy, Speaker of the Iowa House

Marcia Nichols, AFSCME Political Director

Statewide Coalition Members

ACLU of Iowa

AFSCME Iowa Council 61

Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO

American Friends Service Committee


Chinese Association of Iowa

Friends of Iowa Civil Rights


I’M for Iowa

Interfaith Alliance of Iowa

Iowa – National Organization for Women

Iowa Citizen Action Network

Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Iowa Coalition Against Sexaul Assault

Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans

Iowa Department of Human Rights


Iowa Planned Parenthood Affiliate League

Iowa Stonewall Democrats

Methodist Federation for Social Action

National Association of Social Workers – Iowa Chapter

One Iowa

Working Families Win

Youth and Shelter Services, Inc.

Local Coalition Members

AIDS Project of Central Iowa

American Business & Professional Guild


Board of Christian Social Action, Plymouth United Church of Christ

Burlington Human Rights Commission

Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission

Cedar Rapids Gay & Lesbian Resource Center (GLRC)

Cedar Rapids Linn Mar Spectrum (GSA)

Cedar Rapids PFLAG

Cedar Valley Pride

Cedar Valley United for Peace & Justice

Central College Common Ground

Citzens for Equal Protection

Community Aids Assistance Program (CAAP)

Council Bluffs Community Alliance

Delta Lambda Phi – Iowa State University

Dubuque Pride

Eagle Grove GSA

Faith United Methodist Church

Fort Dodge Civil Rights Commission

Graceland University Gay/Straight Alliance

Greater Omaha GLBT Professionals

Green Party of Iowa

Grinnell Human Rights Commission

Iowa City Human Rights Commission

Legion Arts

Linn-Mar Spectrum GSA

Metropolitan Community Church of Omaha

Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities

North Iowa (Mason City) PFLAG

Northeast Iowa Community College GSA


PFLAG of the Quad Cities (Eldridge)


Progressive Action for the Common Good

Quad Cities PrideFest Committee

Simpson College Democrats

Simpson College LGBTQA

Siouxland PFLAG

Southeast Iowa Rainbow Pride

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

St. Timothys United Methodist

Stellar Kick Entertainment

Students for Social Justice, UNI


University of Northern Iowa Proud

Wartburg Alliance

Burlington Community High School GSA

On the eve of the legislative session, we invite you to show your solidarity and the broad opposition against a constitutional amendment to take away the freedom to marry.

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  • Great news

    I simply do not understand what leg social conservatives have to stand on with this issue anymore, I am sure they will try to blame for Iowa’s population decline.  LOL.  

  • Here's details from OneIowa for Tuesday...

    Friends –

    As you know, opponents of equality are attempting to co-opt Governor

    Culver’s state of the state address and intimidate Iowa legislators

    into pushing for a constitutional amendment that would deny civil

    marriage to gay and lesbian couples.

    We need your help to show support for our fair-minded legislators and

    Governor Culver on TUESDAY, JANUARY 12 .  We will deliver thousands of

    petitions to key legislators and hope to fill the gallery with

    pro-equality supporters during Governor Culver’s speech.

    Please join for all or part of the day and help show your support for

    our fair-minded legislators and Governor Culver!

    Schedule of Events for TUESDAY, JANUARY 12:

    8:30 AM: Meet in Capitol Rotunda and wear blue. We’ll have volunteers

    stationed there to let you know where to go and with extra blue dot

    t-shirts and stickers.

    10:00 AM: Governor Culver’s State of the State Address

    11:00 AM-4 PM: Delivering Petitions to key legislators


    Many thanks!

    Brad Clark

    Campaign Director

    One Iowa


    c: 515-783-5950

  • If Mike Simonson is a Republican....

    maybe he can tell us why he’s hosting fund-raisers for Democratic legislators.

    Could it be that we have here yet another bunch of homosexuals who are merely looking out for Number One?

    • no idea of his sexual orientation

      but do you deny there are gay Republicans, or heterosexual Republicans who support marriage equality?

      • Google it

        Simonson is a homosexual.

        You’re avoiding the question.  Why would a “Republican activist” host a fund-raiser for Staci Appel at his place of business, shortly after Kent Sorenson announced that he would challenge her, no less?

        Self-absorbed, militant homosexuals are single issue voters.  They’re not the least bit concerned about what’s best for Iowa.

        • how "militant" of him

          not to support a candidate from his party who wants to take away his civil rights.

          • SSM is not a "civil right"

            …and Mike Simonson and his confreres are textbook examples of ‘single issue voters.’

            • Right,

              because you fundies only care about “real” issues, you have no interest whatsoever in waging a so-called “culture war” to shove your beliefs down everyone’s throat… Oh, wait.

            • Who's really militant?

              Those who want equal rights or those who want to force born-again Christianity as the official government-sponsored religion? I guess the answer is obvious.

              You’re so sadly delusional, do you know why? This is a battle you radical righties cannot win, regardless of how many gay marriage and abortion bans you’re able to win. Your goal of cultural purity in America is completely unrealistic and only serves as an effective GOTV weapon for a pandering Republican Party; nothing else. Do you actually believe Karl Rove and company give a rat’s ass about your “demands”? Poor thing…