Decade of the Underdog: Are Gay Rights Next?

Last Friday my iPhone made the usual buzz from the back of my desk. I had a hunch it was a New York Times Mobile Alert because those are the only text I get during the day. I know, such a tool.

In any case, the Mobile Alert was a sore subject. I joked the day before that the Times was beginning to abuse their text privileges. It seemed every afternoon I got another “breaking news,” alert. Or should I say, a 200 character doomsday report.

But this day was different and my fingers found a different notice of news. Iowa had struck down an amendment to ban gay marriage. It was huge.

ia-gay-marriage-04-06-09According to a spokesperson for Lambda Legal, a national gay rights activist group, Iowa was the perfect first move in a strategic game to start winning states over – one by one.

“There is a tradition of independence and willingness to stand up on issues of fairness [in Iowa],” Jennifer C. Pizer, marriage project director for Lambda Legal told the New York Times.

Another advocacy group that no doubt took this ruling as a stripe in the win column is Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).

If you remember, (which I didn’t but Google is great), Massachusetts voted to allow same-sex marriage in 2004. After that 26 states turned the other way and approved Constitutional bans on the same thing. With the passage of Prop 8 that banned gay marriage in California last November, it seemed the voters were sending a message. Not Yet.

But with the win of Iowa and a strategy to win six more states by 2012, it just might be the decade of the underdog.