It some Republican state Senators in Iowa have their way, then County Recorders there will resist issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian citizens. The Senators are denying the whole thing, while also whining that religious rights are being abused! Oh the HORROR! Iowans, get your resumes ready, County Recorder jobs could open soon.
Commentary By: Steven Reynolds
With the Iowa Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in Iowa, it is of to the County Recorders in all 99 Iowa counties to hand out those marriage licenses to both hetero and gay and lesbian couples. But there are rumblings here and there that some of the County Recorders are unhappy with the prospect of carrying out their sworn duty. There are even some Iowa Republican Legislators who are DENYING they ever had anything to do with encouraging that discomfort felt by some of the Country Recorders. Here’s a bit of the story from the Des Moines Register:
E-mails obtained by The Des Moines Register, meanwhile, show the struggle recorders are going through.
Warren County Recorder Polly Glascock said in an e-mail to colleagues that a woman from the Statehouse called her to ask how she’d handle the gay-marriage issue.
Glascock answered that she would be required to process the applications. “She inquired as to why I thought I had to do that – it’s not a law, it’s an opinion,” Glascock wrote.
The caller was the clerk of Republican Rep. Kent Sorenson.
Sorenson, a Warren County resident who is opposed to marriage for same-sex couples, said Thursday that he did not ask his assistant to make the call.
“I’m not calling for anarchy,” he said. “I want to make it clear that I’m not calling, pressuring her not to do her job. She has to do her job. That’s up to her, the oath she took and what she feels she has to do.”
In an e-mail to colleagues, Johnson County Recorder Kim Painter wrote: “The tentacles of people who want to turn this into something it should not be – a political stunt on the 27th – are reaching out, trying to locate a recorder willing to perpetrate an act of civil disobedience in a county where the sheriff won’t arrest, and the attorney won’t prosecute.”
In her e-mail, she said that she hopes none of her colleagues “go rogue.”
No, a Republican would never encourage a civil official to refuse to uphold the law! No, never! Kent Sorenson is clearly on the record as denying anything happened, and they’ll never prove it, either! Although Republican State Senator Merlin Bartz sure seems to be suggesting that County Recorders refrrain from carrying out their sworn duties. Sure, he sues artful language in his denials. . . Republican all the way, I suppose. Here it is:
Republican Sen. Merlin Bartz of Grafton said recorders are at the forefront of the debate. “They could pull out the code book and say, –I can’t do it,’” he said.
Asked if he is encouraging recorders to commit civil disobedience, Bartz answered: “I have to decide whether or not it’s civil disobedience. If you look at the code book, it hasn’t changed.”
Sioux County Recorder Anita Van Bruggen said her personal belief is that marriage is only between a man and a woman. She said she asked her county attorney whether she must follow the ruling. “He said if you do not, you face removal,” Van Bruggen said.
Sen. David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan, said the Iowa Supreme Court set “a different set of moral standards” that conflicts with Iowans’ constitutional right to freedom of religion.
“If you believe this is wrong based on your theology,” he said, “how can you then deny your faith?”
Hey, there’s the crux of it at the end there, special rights for Christians who don’t believe in gay marriage. That’s the view State Senator David Johnson is pushing. They have no special right to work for the government and at the same time disobey the state of Iowa’s laws. No, that’s not how it works in America. Nobody has the right to a state job and also the right to disobey jobs. We voted that idea out with Dick Cheney.
If these Republican state Senators in Iowa have their way, there will be 99 jobs available in Iowa soon. Progressive job candidates should get their resumes ready.