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Gay Shortage Puts Damper On Iowa Marriage Ruling
DES MOINES (CAP) - The Iowa Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriage under the state's constitution could be muted by the fact that the state has no gay people, according to many residents.
"I'm pretty sure that if we had homosexuals here, I would know about it," said Fred Cranston, a selectman and real estate agent in Elk Run Heights, Iowa. "We're usually playing catch-up on that type of thing. We didn't even really have black people here until the late '90s."
He acknowledged that people like "old Karl," an African-American who's run the local junkyard since the mid-'60s, would be an exception to that, but that "he doesn't really count - he's just regular folk."
Still, many in this small town and others around the state seem flummoxed by the court's decision, saying they don't know anybody who'd qualify to take advantage of same-sex marriage rights.
"I mean, there was talk about that barber, Luis, from the haircut place, but those were just rumors," said Chuck Branson of Malvern, Iowa. "He just wants the freedom of not being tied down to a wife and kids so he can go on those cruises he likes, and those, waddaya call 'em, spa weeks.
"At least that's what he told my wife when he was doing her highlights," said Branson.
And in nearby Pacific Junction, Amway representative Norma Miller says her community is similarly gay-bereft.
"I know some people were wondering about Amy and Kate who run the feed store, but they're just good friends who happen to live and own a business together," said Miller. "They have to wear their hair short like that so they don't get fertilizer in it."
Still, even if Iowa is currently a gay-free zone, according to its residents, the court's decision could change that. "I know I am desperate to move there now," said Marc Hurwitz, whose Facebook Group There's A Gay Golden Haze on the Meada' In Iowa already has more than 16,000 members.
When told that the song lyric he refers to in that title is actually from the musical Oklahoma!, rather than anything having to do with Iowa, he responded, "Oh, I just hate you! Why don't you just poke me in the self-esteem with a sharp stick?"
None of the residents could point to exactly why Iowa has a shortage of homosexuals, but several said that the U.S. government's ill-fated attempt at ethnic cleansing there under the Bush administration certainly didn't help. But others say the residents are just deluding themselves.
"These are not the brightest people in the world," said Des Moines Register editor Sam Blanton, pointing out that many of them accidentally endorsed Bruce Willis' Die Hard character John McClane instead of John McCain in the last presidential primaries.
Meanwhile, gays or no gays, many - like farmer Bud "Buddy" Langston of Belvidere Township - say they're extremely disappointed by the court's decision. Talking to a CAP News reporter on his livestock farm, Langston said the decision "will lead no place good," as he gently sheared a large Leicester sheep. "Next thing people will be marrying their farm animals.
"Speaking of which, do you know if that's something they're considering?" he asked. "I have, uh, a friend who would be interested in knowing about that."
- CAP News Staff
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