Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Same Sex Marriage and Sioux City City Council Schlubs

Ok, so there are a few of those words I had never heard, (opprobrious? thaaank yoouuu thesaurus.com). But here is the gist:

This is a very conservative city. About a year ago I started to notice the circus that is the Sioux City Council when allegations were brought up about two council members, (Aaron Rochester and Brent Hoffman) allegedly promising to institute spoken prayer before council meetings in return for campaign funds. While there was and is no official proof of this, where there is smoke, there is often fire. The mayor, Mike Hobart spoke out and questioned whether Rochester and Hoffman had conflicts of interest on two issues -- on switching to a spoken prayer and continuing the downtown taxing district.

The council took out their stick and beat Hobart with it. It seems they really have never let up, at times questioning his place and role in the city publicly. Now, the council, led by the very conservative, (and by conservative I mean prejudiced and close-minded, not republican) Dave Ferris, Brent Hoffman and Aaron Rochester have just voted to publicly express "Sioux City's Opinion" about the definition of marriage. Wow, they continue to amaze me with how inclusive they are. A snippet is below, or the full story here.

SIOUX CITY -- The City Council majority will send a message to the Iowa Legislature that voters should decide how to define marriage.

Voting 3-2, the council Monday adopted a resolution supporting the legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, opposing efforts to redefine the institution as anything else and urging the Legislature to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot.


Here's the thing, when I moved to Sioux City, I was sort of expecting white bread Iowa. It's far from that. We have a big cultural potpourri that surprised me when I got here. There are Somalian and Laotian refugees here. There is a large Hispanic population here, along with many Native Americans, Whites and Blacks. I see many different people, with various cultural and religious differences that I take into consideration when treating them.

However, the 'ruling class' here seems to want to enforce their beliefs on everyone else. I think councilman Ferris, Hoffman and Rochester would edict that all attend a Christian Church and follow in a straight line behind them if given the power to do so. The problem is, we don't have to. I am Christian. But I believe my neighbor has the right not to be, and also not made to be felt bad for NOT being so.

Did you know that at one time the Sioux City Council voted against an ordinance that would have protected people of all sexual orientations from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and in the work place?

As a straight white christian male professional, I feel pretty included and wanted in Siouxland. However, if I wasn't any of these I think I would feel very rejected in this city. Thumbs up to those who continue to stand up against these outrages, including our Mayor, who voted against this.


Tony said...

People passing laws that promote discrimination is really frustrating to me. The biggest issue here in California last November was gay marriage. I'm sure you heard about Proposition 8 as it was national news. During all of the campaigning no one seemed to notice that the State is in such terrible financial troubles that this year people are going to get I.O.U.'s for tax returns. The state doesn't have enough money to pay tax returns yet everyone's biggest concern is whether or not gay people should be able to marry.

I don't really even understand the issue I guess. Are people in Sioux City trying to declare that regardless of what the federal or state governments determine, the city of Sioux City will not recognize gay marriage? Are they afraid someone is going to force them to marry a same sex partner. I'm just baffled by this.

Leviathan said...

I think you should be upset about taxpayer dollars being spent on city council members voting for stupid, time-wasting "messages" to the Iowa legislature.

They might as well have voted for the best episode of Frasier.

City, State, and Federal gov't, along with everyone else, is strapped for cash right now. Why are they wasting time on this silliness? It has no fine, no legal merit (state jurisdiction), nothing of worth.

If what you say about Sioux City is true (I will believe your city is totally white bread until you show proof), the city council should be focusing on how to best develop for the future. For instance, is it breaking into Somalian, Laotian, Hispanic, White, districts...does the city want that? Does the 'ruling class' want it to be white bread? If so, they should try to enact that legislation. We'll see what happens.

Tim said...

Tony as far as California goes you could have seen this coming for years as for as them being broke. They have been so far over budget for at least 10 years and there spending is out of control! But hey so is the United States government they think that can just print more money and be good! Invest in gold people! Plus prob 8 passed because of the growth in the black vote.

Travis I do take some offense to bashing the conservative ideals. Maybe I think a conservative is something differnt then what you do. My thoughts on conservative values is that government should stay out the private sector, keep are army strong, build are roads and save lives. I dont want the government to do anything for me other then that.

Ok well I am done for now because I am drinking(I know weak) but I will check it out in the morning and see how much of a ass I am and finish my thoughts.

Travis said...

"upset about taxpayer dollars being spent on city council members voting for stupid, time-wasting "messages" to the Iowa legislature"

-Totally. It is not improving Sioux City, but rather just certain council members beating their chest likes apes and letting us know their opinion.

"Are they afraid someone is going to force them to marry a same sex partner"

-I don't think this is the driving force, but the idea of their neighbors doing as much is frightening to them. I suppose they would say frightening to them because they probably believe those people will go to hell, and maybe they do believe that. But I think fear and homophobia is certainly a part of it and very present in Sioux City.

Travis said...

"My thoughts on conservative values is that government should stay out the private sector, keep are army strong, build are roads and save lives."

-Tim, I have no problem with these conservative ideals. If that was all that was on the table, then I would be a conservative. But, as you and I have talked before, it's not the supposed fundamental ideals of conservatism that separates us so much as the details of current times and the related issues.

You also should know by now I respect your ideals. :) (More than most Rush Limbaugh listening folks!)

Paul said...


the news coming out of the USA is pretty staggering to me. i havent really lived stateside (continental US at least) for any significant amount of time since early 2001, and it just seems like a different place. the "what the fuck" factor is very high indeed. like you guys said, it blows my mind that this shit is even on the table.