Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Progressive agenda in Iowa

The Iowa Senate voted 32-17 to include sexual orientation and gender identity among the classifications protected under Iowa's civil rights law from discrimination in housing, employment, lending, education, public accommodations and other areas.

"Today, we have the opportunity to reaffirm that in Iowa, job performance is what counts, not what you look like, not what church you attend, not how old you are, or who you love," said Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, floor manager for Senate File 427. "This is a proud moment. It's time we did this in Iowa."

Of course, the 17 opposed to the bill had to trot out their special brand of wingnuttery for the occasion. Sen. Nancy Boettger, R-Harlan, is afraid this will be opening the door for - gasp! - cross dressers teaching in public schools. Because with, oh, you know, budget cuts, childhood obesity, kids killing each other and themselves, poverty, and the widening gap between the haves and have-nots at all levels of education, a male teacher in a skirt (or a female teacher in pants?) teaching kids not to hate themselves and each other ranks right up there with the biggest threats to young people.

Sen. Paul McKinley, R-Chariton, opposed the bill not because he's a bigot - it's never because they're bigots - but because, he says, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity simply isn't happening. "We're establishing a solution to a problem that simply does not exist," he says. He cites the fact that businesses are having a hard time recruiting quality workers to their open positions as support for the assertion that this discrimination is imaginary. Right, and the U.S. military isn't casting out gay people in the midst of their recruiting crisis, either. But, you know, those companies are just watching out for themselves. We gays do steal office supplies. And never refill the paper in the copy machine. Better to have no workers at all than the trouble-makin' pansies. Am I right?

And, as always happens when oppressed people are about to step out from under the thumb of the Patriarchy, the religious conservatives have weighed in with their usual "But if I can't hate him out in the open, now I'M being oppressed!" claptrap. Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, says the bill "will trample on religious freedoms to show preference for homosexuality and trangenderism. It is absolutely about granting special rights." When will we gays stop tryin' to get special rights, already? Like the right to not be harassed or killed for being gay, or the right to not be fired from a job we're perfectly competent at simply for being a tranny, or the right to not be denied housing because we're good decorators, or the right to visit our partners in the hospital or any of the 1,138 other privileges conferred by marriage. You're right. That's just asking way too much. I get carried away sometimes and start thinking I'm a fully fledged human. I promise to remember my place in the future. We got Logo. That's enough.

But cheers to the Iowa Senate anyway for addressing this nonexistent problem that will lead to the demise of civilization as we know it. Let's see if the House votes for total world destruction, too. Governor Chet Culver will certainly sign this heathen bill into law if given the chance. That man is just evil enough to do it!


Amy said...

Good work, Iowa!

jluw said...

I don't think I have ever been prouder to be an Iowan! All it took was to get Democrats in the majority... (happy sigh). As for the wingnuts, what nutters - it's just too bad that they have an audience. They don't deserve one.

Kitty said...

Well said.