imageBy Dale Mastarone

Senator Gronstal, I watched and listened to you in your appearance on Iowa Press on Iowa Public Television on Friday November 12, 2010, and you iterated and reiterated the following statement, “I’m not going to put discrimination into the Constitution of the State of Iowa.” Your statement was in regard to question about a proposed constitutional amendment that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.

Hmm? Let me see if I have this correct? It appears that you must believe that there is no discrimination in the Iowa Constitution as it is now written, and you are loathe to allow any discrimination to begin on your watch. As if there is no discrimination at present?

I’m sorry, Senator Gronstal, I know for a fact that you have to be wrong about there being no discrimination in the Iowa Constitution if that’s what you suggest. There certainly and absolutely is discrimination evident throughout the Iowa Constitution. For one simple example, the Iowa Constitution discriminates against me personally. I cannot be an Iowa legislator unless I meet certain qualifications, such as first being a citizen of Iowa and then other criteria, and finally being elected by the people in my district, etc. Am I permitted by the Iowa Constitution from introducing legislation or casting a vote in the General Assembly unless I meet the foregoing constitutional muster? Therefore?

According to what I hear from the media, the people in the Iowa Senate District you represent are overwhelmingly in favor of their having opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment to set forth that marriage is defined as between one man and one woman — vote one way or another. Sir, there can be no question about it — you are personally discriminating against the majority wishes of your constituents in your senate district. What is even more obvious is that in your position of control as Senate Majority Leader you are discriminating against the wishes of the majority of people in Iowa living in the other 49 Senate Districts that say they want to be able to have opportunity to vote on the measure. You, sir, the way you present yourself as a one man show, are blocking the conscience of Iowa from free expression. Am I missing something?

Senator Gronstal, I suppose you might be feeling safe in your senate seat for the next two years, but perhaps a mite concerned for the next election after witnessing the popular ousting of three Iowa Supreme Court justices because of the same subject matter you stand for. Be that as it may, in my humble opinion you should not be feeling very safe about regaining senate majority leader position in the upcoming 2011 legislative session; after all, there might be a courageous Democrat Senator who will emerge as one that will promise that she or he will not stand in the way of an up or down vote in the Iowa Senate re the proposed constitutional amendment. For whatever good you may have garnered in the General Assembly to date in your successive elections as nearly a permanent political fixture — I believe you may have blown all that on your particular stance re the subject matter above.

13 comments
  1. Do you think Gronstal hasn’t analyzed the election results in his district? He’s risking his political career to stand on principle.

      1. I like how you’re only supposed to have convictions and stick with them when you’re a conservative. If you do it as a Democrat it’s because of money. Isn’t it possible he just understands that you don’t let the majority vote on the civil rights of a minority? Nah… it’s cause of the money.

      2. Gronstal… has principles? Ha! That’s funny. If that were the case he wouldn’t have been involved in the crap that went on in SD 37.

        There are principled liberals – Gronstal isn’t one of them.

  2. You Dale, are a poster child for elitism enabler of the year . Your childlike misunderstanding of the 9th grade level term “discrimination” does not serve to underpin your argument but rather to reveal your ignorance in a subject that should be de rigueur for a man your age who wishes to be taken seriously. Discriminate in the usage that Sen Gronstal is referring means to create a second class citizen based on some immutable characteristic. While each of the examples you provide can be construed as a class e.g. person from another state; each of those classes has an avenue by which they can join the other more favored class. Please, Iowa used to have a reputation for the highest levels of education and tolerance, your ilk is not welcome here. Try Texas, they pride themselves on ignorance and bigotry.

    1. Dale is very much welcome because if you were truly tolerant you would realize that his point of view is part of the marketplace of ideas.

      But you aren’t tolerant.

      “Discriminate in the usage that Sen Gronstal is referring means to create a second class citizen based on some immutable characteristic.”

      Funny I know several ex-homosexuals. How is this behavior and inclination immutable?

    2. Tulkwe, maybe you need to look up the scientific definition of “immutable.” Also check out “ad hominem” while you’re at it. Why should you need to defend Senator Gronstal, anyway? Isn’t he an adult?

      1. If you are this”Dale”, you should discontinue digging yourself a deeper hole. The definition of “immutable” is “not capable of or susceptible to change”, which is in reference to the fact that one cannot change one’s sexual orientation. I would have to agree that the argument put forward in the article is akin to the pulling of straws to rationalize a failing, indefensible, homophobic position. There is no where to hide from the fact that attempting to overturn the ruling only makes one look as if they feel that one subset of humanity is less equal than they.

        “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If anyone is barred from marriage I could only foresee that you too will one day have your marriage nullified, unless you abide by the teachings of Christianity.

      2. Non-believer, where in my piece did you find anything about overturning the ruling? Not even between the lines. Why not read the piece a couple of times — and find that all that’s urged is the people want to vote on the issue — up or down — and Senator Gronstal is acting as a dictator. Hmm? Where’s the rationalization in the article, by the way? If you think that the ruling was correct, well then you should reasonably have an opportunity to vote on it, don’t you think? Why do you take your anger out on me — when you really should be angry with Senator Gronstal for not allowing you to cast a vote? Unless you feel that the thing should not go to a vote of the people. Aha, that’s most likely it, you are afraid that the majority of Iowans are homophobic.

  3. Of course, it is not satire! If you don’t think people are serious about this, you have had your head where the sun doesn’t shine. The majority of Iowans are sick of having these liberal agendas shove down their throats!

  4. Tulkwe, tolerance doesn’t mean agreement, it means there is something to tolerate. In order for me to be tolerant of you we have to have a disagreement or for there to be something about you that I don’t like.

    I’m the tolerant one here because I’ve managed not to apply a label to you or resort to name calling (calling me a bigot). Your dismissal of ex-homosexuals is very convenient. I’m sure my friends and countless others who used to be homosexuals would disagree. But since you are “the tolerant one” you can obviously dismiss their experiences; so we’ll just void their arguments because it doesn’t make sense to your worldview. I’m sure you claim that people are born gay – forget the fact that there is no evidence of that. Anything to make the behavior seem normal and acceptable and right.

    So it makes sense in your mind that the only ideas allowed in society are yours. That way you can just dismiss arguments. I at least recognize that your ideas are part of the “marketplace,” and that you have the right have those ideas.

    But yes, you are the tolerant one.

    We do have a marketplace of ideas – it’s empowered by the First Amendment. I’m at least not saying to homosexuals to not live here.

    I just don’t want the definition of marriage changed for a variety of reasons I’m not going to launch into in a comment, I’ve already blogged about it extensively.

    So since you reject the marketplace of ideas, and since you see me as no more than a bigot there is really no point in having any type of discussion with you.

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