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Iowa Gov: “Inappropriate” to Link Marriage Debate to Crime

Iowa Gov: “Inappropriate” to Link Marriage Debate to Crime

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Rhetoric in the marriage equality debate in Iowa played no role in the slaying of a Waterloo teen who was called "faggot" before being beaten to death, in the opinion of Gov. Terry Branstad.

During the Republican governor's weekly press conference today at the state capitol, a reporter brought up the August 19 death of 19-year-old Marcellus Andrews, "then asked Branstad what his role was as governor to control the tenor of the debate over gay rights, given the heat of the controversy over the marriage issue here," The Des Moines Register reports.

Branstad responded, "I see no link whatsoever and I think it's inappropriate to try to blame people that are not associated with having committed a crime. I think we need to focus on the people who committed the crime and they need to be brought to justice."

There has been a great deal of heated debate in the state over same-sex marriage, which was legalized by an Iowa Supreme Court ruling in 2009. Some legislators are pushing a state constitutional amendment to nullify the ruling, and Republican presidential aspirants are bringing up the issue often as they visit the state, which holds an early caucus vote in the primary season. For instance, in a recent interview with an Iowa newspaper, presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said advocates for marriage equality and other LGBT rights threaten to "undermine religious liberty."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.