LGBTQA stumps for same-sex marriage


by Kati Herr/Staff Writer

Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning Alliance and the Simpson College Democrats attended One Iowa Lobby Day on Feb. 10 at the State Capitol to show their support for marriage equality.

Attendees lobbied for marriage equality in order to try to prevent a state constitutional amendment removing the right to same-sex marriages from the Iowa constitution.”By providing marriage equality to all citizens, we will uphold the ideals of being a free country,” junior Danielle Caswell, LGBTQA president, said. Since the time frame of the Lobby Day conflicted with many student schedules, LGBTQA and the College Democrats didn’t expect many students to be in attendance, but they hoped there was no shortage of volunteers from other areas of the state. One student who attended the Lobby Day was sophomore Kevin Rice.  “By participating in this lobby we aim to show the legislators that there is strong support amongst Iowa citizens for the maintenance of same-sex marriage in the state,” Rice said. One Iowa Lobby Day began with a training session on how to be an effective advocate for marriage equality. The group then reconvened at the State Capitol where students had a chance to talk with state legislators about why the group supports equal marriage protection under the law and explain why they think state legislators should support it as well. “We want to motivate our supporters throughout the state, teach them how they can make a difference for marriage equality by having conversations with their legislators,” Emily Holley, an One Iowa regional organizer, said. In addition to participating in the One Iowa Lobby Day, members of LGBTQA have also been active in rallying support for marriage equality. “We have also participated in phone bank days to gather supporters of marriage equality,” Caswell said. The College Democrats held a joint meeting with the LGBTQA last semester in order to get people interested in volunteering with One Iowa. “I know most, not all, members of the group are in support of marriage equality and back the Iowa legislative leadership, which has put a stop in the efforts to try to bring this issue up because there are many more issues the Legislature needs to be worrying about right now,” senior Jamie Corey, president of College Democrats, said. Rice said he hoped the Lobby Day would allow students to engage with their legislators and allow them to discuss various topics besides just the gay marriage debate. “I hope to let our legislators know that we value and support gay marriage rights in Iowa, and that the issue is not one of polarized political opinions, but is one concerning the preservation of equality for all citizens regardless of their sexual orientations,” Rice said. Holley said that students should support this issue for many reasons including what she says comes down to loving, committed couples wanting their relationships to be recognized by the state. “This is your generation’s social justice issue,” Holley said. “For our parents’ generation, it was the Civil Rights movements with sit-ins and marches and freedom rides. For our grandparents’ generation, it was the women’s movement and integrating the schools. Equal marriage has been in the making for decades.”