Friday, April 10, 2009


"But as a gay man, I can’t marry in “liberal” New York, where I’m a resident, or in “liberal” California, where I was born, and very soon I will have that right in “conservative” Iowa."

When I was younger, I would always confuse the states of Iowa and Ohio for some reason. I never could remember where each one was located, and I typically got them confused on the US map. Anyway, over the years I learned about Ohio's importance in my history classes, while poor Iowa was cast aside as a state filled with farmers and cornfields. Des Moines is its capital, and Iowa is probably one of the largest suppliers to ethanol companies. I remember in seventh grade that this one girl, Ann, who was Vietnamese, lived in Iowa, and loved that state. I don't know if she was actually born there, but was fond of it.

The eight grade honors American History teacher would make fun of Iowa and its cornfields. Of course, Ann was upset, and talked back to him.

Last week, the state of Iowa settled in court, with a unanimous decision, that gay marriages would be legal. And I thought to myself, the state of Iowa, really? In the midwest? Heart of conservatism? Of course, that is the perception that many of us have of Iowa, that it's a state filled with agriculture, and religious white folk who are conservative.

Most of us don't even know what states constitute the mid-west region in America.

Of course, Patrick wasn't surprised that Iowa's courts decided that gay marriages were to be legal. According to him, "Iowa and Minnesota are two of the most progressive states in the mid-west." Really? Really?! My coworker still believes that, even though Iowa may go Democrat, it doesn't mean they're necessarily liberal. If not liberal, then at least the state of Iowa recognizes that marriage should be afforded to any couple that truly loves one another, regardless of race or creed.

And what saddens me the most, is that, no matter how much we claim we are liberal, or progressive in New York and California, Iowa's courts decided it was a constitutional right for gays, lesbians, transgenders and bisexuals to marry.

This article in the New York Times describes how Iowa allowed for biracial marriages before the United States Supreme Court decided it was a civil right's violation to not allow people from different racial backgrounds to marry, and how Iowa is the fourth state to recognize gay marriage. After all, who would of thought that America's heartland would be that progressive?

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