The 24-hour gay marriage marathon has come to an end in Iowa, thanks to an activist judge's intervention in the matter, but the day-long experiment in equal justice has already turned into a marathon race by Republican presidential contenders, who are falling over themselves to condemn the original ruling and shore up their base of conservative caucus voters.
Republican contenders from Romney to Giuliani (pictured), and everyone in between, lined up to attack the idea of equality for gay Iowans, with only one Democratic candidate speaking up about the ruling . . . and on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, no less. Let's look at the 'who's who' of GOP gay bashers after the jump, and wonder aloud to ourselves: Will Log Cabin ever be able to endorse a presidential candidate again?
The first two statements were, of course, from people who should know better.
Mitt Romney (who else?!) was first to bat with a condemnation of the ruling striking down Iowa's ban on same-sex marriage, saying that "The ruling in Iowa ... is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act. This once again highlights the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman." Banning gay marriage, he later said, "is essential to our future."
Health care, smart national security and a balanced budget, be damned. (And could someone please tell the former governor to spend a few days in his own home state, where same-sex marriage has failed to bring Massachusetts civilization to a halt?)
Not to be outdone by a New England dandy with hair that would make Vidal Sassoon blush with pride, Senator John McCain called the original ruling "a loss for the traditional family." (Forgetting, too, that in his home state, voters rejected a constitutional amendment banning marriage.)
But wait, there's more (bowing to the base).
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was perhaps busy at a tea dance with his two gay roommates, sent out a spokesman to play Chicken Little and herald that "the sky is falling." Jarrdon Agen (who, persumably, is not from New York's Chelsea neighborhood) told the Associated Press that "Rudy Giuliani believes marriage is between a man and a woman."
Or was that women?
And so what we have here, essentially, are Republican cadidates ignoring the evidence right before their eyes (Romney); rejecting the will of their constituents (McCain); and, perhaps worst of all, refusing to allow their roommates - who gave them food and shelter between a series of heterosexual marriages - the right to declare their love before the state (Giuliani). It's enough to make you wonder if 'love thy neighbor' ever really existed at all.
Then, into the fray, walks Ellen DeGeneres, who was brave enough to ask Friday's guest, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, what she thought about the whole ordeal. Clinton said the question should be left up to the states (and, the last time I checked, Iowa was still one), and that same-sex couples should enjoy "full equality of benefits."
And wouldn't that be nice for a change of pace?
In the meantime, however, the GOP front-runners are saying 'I don't' to the idea of fairness and equality for Iowans. Instead, they are all racing to prove that they're no fan of toe-tapping men in America, even if that means gay men tap-dancing at their own damn wedding.