In my weekly column, I made the bold claim that America has reached a tipping point on LGBT issues. We have won — we just have a 15-20 year slog where the wing nuts are increasingly marginalized to the point of irrelevance. And, in this time frame America will become more comfortable with LGBT people to the point where our lives become a non-issue.
The New York Times backed my assertion today with a story pointing out that marriage equality in Iowa has not been a large campaign issue. At least 2,020 same-sex couples have married in Iowa since the State Supreme Court unanimously ruled in April 2009 that a state law barring such unions was unconstitutional.
“Too many other things are upsetting people,” said David A. Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University and a former political reporter for The Des Moines Register.
In yesterday’s Republican primary, the Iowa Family Policy Center’s preferred candidate, Bob Vander Plaats, went down in flames. He lost to his main opponent, Terry Branstad, by eleven points. Vander Plaats was an extremist who called for the removal of the three justices on the State Supreme Court who supported marriage equality.
According to the Times, the Iowa Family Policy Center plans on being a sore loser and will not support Branstad in the general election.
In another Times story, Iowa’s religious right is freaking out because some doctors are now providing pill-induced abortions through tele-conferencing.
Abortion opponents say they are alarmed, fearful for the safety of women who undergo abortions after consulting with doctors who have never actually been in the same room with them. Opponents filed a complaint this spring with the Iowa Board of Medicine, arguing that a doctor’ remote clicking of a mouse hardly meets the state’ law requiring licensed physicians to perform abortions, and more objections are coming.
“This is a prescription for disaster,” said Troy Newman, who leads Operation Rescue, which opposes abortion and, in May, took part in protests over the telemedicine matter in Cedar Rapids. “You are removing the doctor-patient relationship from this process. And think about it: With this scheme, one abortionist sitting in his pajamas at home could literally do thousands of abortions a week. This is about expanding their abortion base.”
Can I stop laughing now? Newman is actually saying with a straight face that he gives a damn about the health of women and is concerned about the integrity of the doctor/patient relationship. Again, I need a moment to chuckle at the spectacular insincerity.
Who is this crackpot kidding? What he is really flipped out about is new technology that is bypassing the immoral and invasive, doctor/patient/wing nut relationship that has been foisted on women by anti-choice busybodies. It certainly is a “prescription for disaster” for the obnoxious zealots and their bullying tactics. With innovative tele-medicine, women can make important choices in private without being harassed by freakish fanatics, and in some cases messianic murderers, who stalk abortion clinics. Of course, Newman is determined to reinsert himself in the lives of women who don’t want him there.
“One way or another, we’re going to shut this scheme down,” Mr. Newman of Operation Rescue said. “Health care just isn’t a one-size-fits-all package of pills. And yet there it is ‚Äî prearranged, prepackaged, out pops that package of pills ‚Äî pop!”
I am pro-choice, but I respect dignified opposition to abortion by sincere people on moral grounds. However, the solution is working towards less unwanted pregnancies — not overturning Roe v. Wade. The religious right should work on persuasion rather than persecution of women.
Whatever one thinks of this issue, reasonable people should agree that removing sometimes violent, often vile, Bible-beaters from the decision making process between a woman and her doctor is a step in the right direction.
In any case, times are tough for religious fanatics in Iowa.