Supporters of gay marriage gathered this afternoon at the Des Moines Social Club to sign petitions that will be delivered to the statehouse on Tuesday.
People packed into the “Sideshow Lounge” — standing or sitting at tables after they’d filed by and signed huge posters that will be delivered to the governor and legislative leaders on Tuesday. Justin Uebelhor is with “One Iowa,” the group that organized Sunday’s event.
“On Tuesday we’re going to get our friends and supporters to the capitol,” Uebelhor says. “We’re going to be delivering over 15,000 postcard petitions to legislators in every district in the state.”
Tuesday is the same day opponents of gay marriage plan to rally at the statehouse. Uebelhor says lobbying legislators at the statehouse is not his group’s focus.
“I think it’s more effective to talk to them in their home districts,” Uebelhor says. “And that’s what we’ve been doing over the past six to eight months where, in their own (legislative) districts, couples and families will go and talk to legislators and tell their stories.”
Former First Lady Christie Vilsack, a Democrat, and former Lieutenant Governor Joy Corning, a Republican, are among the people who have agreed to be “co-chairs” of the One Iowa organization.
“The goal of this is to show Iowans that equality and freedom isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue,” Uebelhor says. “That people on all sides of this issue can agree that equality is a true Iowa value.”
In mid-November, former Lieutenant Governor Corning recorded telephone message for One Iowa that was sent to Republican households. She attended Sunday’s event, but declined to be interviewed and did not speak during the brief program.