Main | Monday, April 06, 2009

CBS: Is Iowa The Tipping Point?

From today's Hot Topic on the CBS news blog:
The decision by the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn that state's gay marriage ban is prompting questions about whether or not the battle over gay marriage, long a central focus in the culture war, has reached a tipping point in American culture. Iowa, as gay marriage backers like to point out, is not a liberal, coastal state like Massachusetts and Connecticut – the two states that already offer legal gay marriage – or California, where the narrow passage of a ballot initiative banning gay marriage last year galvanized the gay rights movement.

It is, instead, a Midwestern state in what is commonly called "the heartland" – an area of America thought to be more reticent to warm to liberal ideas, particularly when it comes to social issues. That's why Richard Socarides, a former adviser on gay rights to President Clinton, argued that the decision "represents the mainstreaming of gay marriage" – it's not just for the "tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving left" anymore.
The author points out that Iowa has a long history of progressive politics relative to its neighbors, but speculates that its "heartland of America" reputation might work to swing more states to the correct side of the issue.

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