“The conservative case for marriage equality”

The text of a recent letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register, from an advisor to Iowa Republicans for Freedom, a group with many affinities to ours:

A year ago, former Sen. Jeff Angelo launched the conservative group, Iowa Republicans for Freedom, with the mission of protecting individual liberty, limiting government interference and increasing conservative support for civil marriage for same-sex couples in Iowa.

As a Republican, my conservative values tell me that our lives should be free of government intrusion. This is why I oppose any effort to pass a constitutional amendment that would take away the rights of hard-working Iowa citizens. I believe that every Iowan should have the chance to be as happy as I am with my wife and our two daughters.

Far too often, the debate around this issue gets lost in rhetoric and politics. This issue is about individual freedoms, and those freedoms include spending your life with the person you love. These are the basic conservative values that so many of us hold dear.

Every day, more Iowans are coming to realize that civil marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is the right thing for Iowa.

We hear a lot from the opposition these days about how civil marriage equality will hurt the institution of marriage and religious freedom. The fact of the matter is that the 2009 court decision actually strengthened religious freedom while honoring the couples that wanted to make a lifelong commitment to one another. These families are just like yours and mine: two people who love each other and who want to build a family together and make this promise to one another. In my eyes, including more couples who share these values of love, commitment and family makes the institution marriage stronger.

— Craig Patterson, Grimes, Iowa Republicans for Freedom advisory board

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