Tonight at supper I was perusing the news and I came across this link and the little bit of Christmas spirit I actually had evaporated. For those that don't want to subject themselves to the article, resident arch-conservative and gay-hater Bob Vander Plaats is at it again. He's calling on the remaining four Iowa Supreme Court justices that authored the state's 2009 unanimous ruling that allowed marriage equality in Iowa to resign at the Condition of the Judiciary speech. He says that they should do this because had they been on the ballot with their three former colleagues, they would have been booted from the bench. He then goes on to make a completely nonsensical metaphor comparing someone to teenagers fleeing a beer party but for the life of me, I can't figure out who he's talking about.
This made me equal parts sad and fiery angry. I am so tired of this guy spouting off. I am so tired of him thinking that he speaks for the majority of Iowans. Sure, he might have been speaking for a slim majority of voting Iowans in this election, but that's not the same as speaking for all Iowans. I am especially weary of his smug assurance that he's right, all the while continuing to preach hate, intolerance and prejudice. It makes me want to smack him every time I see him on the TV or in the paper.
As if this weren't bad enough, he speaks of the ills of gays and lesbians serving as foster parents and how those in the LGBT community can be teachers as long as they don't rub our face in it. Oh, and the repeal of DADT will "endanger the military." To add insult to injury, three incoming freshman legislators are drafting impeachment legislation against the remaining justices for...DOING THEIR JOB.
This is the problem with feeling passionate about an issue. Things like this REALLY wear you down. I would like to believe that, as they have been saying all year, it will get better, but with Repubs in charge of the Iowa House and in the governor's mansion, things have a much higher likelihood of getting worse before they get better. Right now, one man (Mike Gronstal) stands in the way of writing discrimination into Iowa's Constitution and you better believe the Republicans are after him.
But instead of feeling defeated, I'm going to turn that negative energy into something positive. Now more than ever we need people to speak up in favor of marriage equality. Being a silent supporter is not good enough right now, not when we're being drowned out by the opposition. I still can't do cold-calling, but I will continue to advocate for the rights of all LGBT Iowans and stand against the idiot prejudice and intolerance. These kind of setbacks are bound to happen. As a friend of mine says, the march forward on progressive causes are frequently two steps forward, one step back.
So my wish for Bob Vander Plaats this Christmas? Originally it was for him to shut the fuck up and go far far away. But now, I just want his heart to grow three sizes. I know that it probably won't happen, but Christmas is a time for miracles and if anything would count as a miracle, that would be it.
I'm also not going to let local politics ruin my Christmas because that would just be plain stupid. It looks like we might be snowed in tomorrow, but we have many festivities planned for the next few days. And next Friday, my little sister gets married AND all three Cullinan siblings will be in the same room - something that doesn't happen very often. I'm looking forward to it.
I may do a couple posts tomorrow if we're snowed in, but I have Heidi's presents to wrap so who knows. If not, Merry Christmas to everyone reading.