‘Gay marriage Mecca’

‘GAY MARRIAGE MECCA’…. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), easily a #1 seed in my brackets for Congress’ Most Embarrassing Members, is not at all pleased that the Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously that consenting adults can get married in his home state. From his press release:

This is an unconstitutional ruling and another example of activist judges molding the Constitution to achieve their personal political ends. […]

Now it is the Iowa legislature’s responsibility to pass the Marriage Amendment to the Iowa Constitution, clarifying that marriage is between one man and one woman, to give the power that the Supreme Court has arrogated to itself back to the people of Iowa. Along with a constitutional amendment, the legislature must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering.

Hmm, “gay marriage Mecca.” I can see how Iowa might become a regional “gay marriage Mecca,” but the truth is Massachusetts and Connecticut already permit same-sex marriage, so it’s not as if Iowa would suddenly have some kind of lock.

I should add that I haven’t the foggiest idea what a “gay marriage Mecca” even is, or what it might look like, but Alex Koppelman noted that it might not be such a bad thing for Iowa: “The state can use all the help it can get in attracting new people to the state, especially young people, and it needs to work on retaining them as well. Iowa has a very serious brain drain problem; only North Dakota’s is worse.”

I’d add, by the way, that Iowa’s new system of allowing consenting adults to get married is going to be around for at least a few years. While California was only able to allow marriage equality for a few months, Iowa makes it difficult to get constitutional amendments onto the ballot: “Iowa’s unusual system requires that constitutional amendments have to be approved by two different legislatures (which meet for two years) before going to voters for approval. The 2009 session is nearly over, and no one believes a constitutional gay marriage can be acted upon until 2010. So that means 2012 is the earliest point at which Iowa voters could be considering a ban. And if nothing happens in next year’s state legislative session, a vote to overturn today’s decision couldn’t happen until 2014.”

Plenty of time to set up that “mecca.”

Update: Ali Frick raises a good point: “King is so upset that he’s using rhetoric that combines what may be his two worst fears: gay people and Muslims.”

I do like the idea of combining different aspects of King’s paranoia. I wonder what would happen if, say, King heard about two gay Muslims who wanted to get married in Iowa. And what if the two gay Muslims were also immigrants! The poor schmo would probably have some kind of breakdown.

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