Monday, August 29, 2011

Brody's Notes... Iowa's Governor Says No connection Between Gay Marriage Debate & Waterloo Teen’s Slaying

Iowa's Republican Governor Terry Branstad
"There’s no connection at all between Iowa’s debate over gay marriage rights and the death of Waterloo teen Marcellus Andrews."
“I think it’s inappropriate to try to link these two,” he added during the weekly press conference at the Capitol.
The Register reporter noted that Andrew's homicide might have been related to his sexual orientation, then asked Mr. Branstad what he thought his role as governor ought to be to control the substance and tone for the debate over LGBTQ equality rights, given the increasingly vitriolic rhetoric over the issue of same-sex marriage in Iowa.
According to The Register, the governor answered:
“The fact of the matter is, we need to protect the health, safety and well-being of all the citizens, regardless – if somebody is murdered, it needs to be investigated and prosecuted and people held responsible for it.
“But I see no link whatsoever and I think it’s inappropriate to try to blame people that are not associated with having committed a crime. I think we need to focus on the people who committed the crime and they need to be brought to justice.”
Andrews, a 19-year-old college student was brutally beaten in the early morning hours last Friday, and according to witnesses who told media outlets whose attackers shouted anti-gay slurs and kicked him in the face. He died on Sunday in the company of relatives and acquaintances after being removed from life support.
Homicide detectives for the Waterloo police department stressed to reporters that they think Andrews beating was prompted after a long-running dispute.
His death has triggered an outcry from LGBTQ equality rights advocacy group One Iowa and other gay rights advocates around the nation.
The Register also noted that "Gay marriage has been legal in Iowa since an Iowa Supreme Court ruling in 2009, but social conservatives continue to push the split-controlled Iowa Legislature for the right to vote to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage."