SD 18: We Did It!

Tuesday night was a great victory for Iowans and for equality here in the state. The fair-minded candidate Liz Mathis won the critical and highly visible special election in Senate District 18 with 56% of the vote, edging out her opponent Cindy Golding and ensuring that the pro-equality majority in our state Senate is safe.

From the beginning, One Iowa knew that this would be a tough race and we got to work identifying nearly 1,000 marriage supporters in the district, logging almost 900 volunteer hours, signing up over 250 pro-equality voters to vote early, and making more than 12,000 phone calls to voters in the district. Our efforts paid off and the pro-equality voice was heard loud and clear.

But make no mistake, our work is far from over. We have won in SD 18 and today is a day to celebrate but we can expect that our opponents, anti-equality advocates like the National Organization for Marriage and Bob Vander Plaats will continue their crusade against LGBT Iowans.

During the last legislative session, we saw several attempts to undermine LGBT equality:

  • Articles of impeachment were introduced against the four remaining Iowa State Supreme Court Justices
  • HF330: Would have denied auditors from issuing marriage licenses until a vote on a constitutional amendment, and would have prevented the Supreme Court from ruling on its constitutionality
  • HSB 50: The Conscious Clause Bill that would have allowed any business owner to deny goods, services, and accommodations to any married couple in the state because they disagreed with their religion,

And of course, HJR6: The Anti-Marriage Amendment passed through the House.

Because of our fair-minded majority, we were able to stop these hurtful and discriminatory measures from heading to the ballot and becoming law. With this election, we have preserved that slim 26 to 24 majority but we know that we can expect more of the same from NOM, the Family Leader and other anti-equality opponents.

2012 will be a big year for equality here in Iowa. We have Republican candidates canvassing our state touting their anti-equality stance, and we have a number of legislative seats that will be open in November that will again put our fair-minded majority at risk. We also know that our opponents will not rest and will continue to introduce the same outrageous and unfair legislation that we saw last year. While last night may have been a victory, this fight is far from over and we need our supporters and allies to dig in and redouble their commitment to equality in the heartland.

One Iowa is committed to protecting equality in the state, and we look forward to working with Senator Mathis in the coming months and years. With the support of fair-minded Iowans throughout the state, I am confident that we can keep equality safe and remain one Iowa.

Onward,

Troy Price
One Iowa Executive Director