Home News Around the Region: Iowan tries to marry lawnmower, embarrass Rep. King

Around the Region: Iowan tries to marry lawnmower, embarrass Rep. King

Around the Region: Iowan tries to marry lawnmower, embarrass Rep. King


After Rep. Steve King told an audience that perhaps marriage equality now means that people can marry their lawnmowers, Iowa blogger Pat Rynard tried to do just that, Raw Story reports:

Iowa Starting Line blogger Pat Rynard decided to give it a try. Dressed in a black tuxedo, Rynard brought his lawn mower, adorned with golden blossoms, out of his garage and hauled it over to the Polk County administration building.
“You see, Steve King last week made big news by saying that because of the new Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, you can also marry all kinds of things, even your lawn mower,” Rynard said. “So we’re gonna try it out today. I’m very happy about it because I’ve kept this lady hidden away in my garage for a number of years out of shame. But now we can finally express our true love.”
Polk County Recorder Julie Haggerty set the record straight.
“Okay, the answer to that would be no,” she said. “You have to be 18 years old to get a marriage license, and the other party needs to be able to sign a contract, has to have a government ID and has to be able to have a witness that says that they can enter into a contract. So I think on those counts alone, you can’t marry your lawnmower.”

Media Matters for America called out Iowa’s CBS 2 KGAN after the station failed to fact-check statements by an anti-LGBT lawmaker.

Iowa’s CBS 2 TV news failed to challenge a claim by a spokesperson for Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA) that a bill co-sponsored by Blum — the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) — would not legalize discrimination against single pregnant women and same-sex couples, despite the fact that experts say the bill’s language would allow private businesses and non-profit organizations to discriminate against them on the basis of religious or moral beliefs. By comparison, Iowa’s ABC 9 fact checked Blum’s claims and reported that FADA’s language could, in fact, create a legal defense for discrimination.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has hired the Iowa couple who are planning 1,000 anti-LGBT billboards across the country, Raw Story reports:

Betty and Richard Odgaard, who lost a civil case in January after refusing to allow a gay couple to marry at their restaurant, have already erected one anti-gay marriage billboard in Oklahoma. They were added to Cruz’s Iowa team on Tuesday.
Announcing their appointment, the Cruz campaign described the Odgaards as “courageous conservatives” who will form part of “a strong leadership team to win the Iowa caucuses”.

North Dakota
The Fargo Diocese thanked the Boy Scouts for including an exception to the policy of allowing openly gay scout leaders, the Grand Forks Herald reports:
“Fargo Diocese Bishop John Folda thanked the Boy Scouts of America’s Executive Board in a statement Wednesday for stipulating in their Monday vote to lift a ban on gay leaders that faith-based organizations can continue to select leaders based on religious principles.”

Meanwhile, the Bismarck Diocese decided to sever ties with the Boy Scouts over the decision to allow gay scout leaders, the Grand Forks Herald reports: “Bishop David Kagan says his directive that Roman Catholic churches in the Bismarck Diocese sever ties with the Boy Scouts of America is based solely on church teachings that are “incompatible” with the Scouts’ new policy allowing openly gay troop leaders.”

South Dakota
The Rapid City Journal takes a look at what will or won’t happen with the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage now that it has been ruled unconstitutional. Experts agree that it is likely to stay on the South Dakota Constitution.

Madison’s LGBT Pride Parade and Rally was held over the weekend. The theme was “The ‘T’ is not silent. Respect transgender lives!”

“It’s a time for the community to get together to celebrate all of the advances in the LGBT community over the last years, especially now that marriage equality is the law of the land,” Ginger Victoria Baier, a board member of Outreach LGBT Community Center, told WKOW. “It’s also to raise awareness of the LGBT community, and this year specifically the transgender community.”

Pride events will be held through this weekend which will also feature the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association’s North American Cup, bringing LGBT soccer teams from throughout North America to compete in Madison.

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Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.