I wonder how the Right is talking about gay and lesbian couples crossing the state lines into Iowa? I haven’t followed this much, but on Wednesday I had a great conversation with a fellow graduate student about queer politics, gay marriage, and stuff, and we speculated that the discourse about gay crossing into Iowa might be similar to the discourse about immigrants (usually “illegal”) crossing into the United States. Missouri and Mississippi Rivers? Rio Grande? The Heartland as a synecdoche for the United States. One abject body in place of another? “Dirty immigrants.” “Filthy queers.”
And on the flipside, are gay and lesbian couples talking about Iowa similarly to how some immigrants talk about the United States? for example:
“It’s a whole different world when you cross the river,” said Troy Fienhold-Haasis of Omaha, Neb., who plans to move with his partner, Jason, across the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, Iowa, this fall.
Of course, among the many, many (many, many) differences between gays crossing into Iowa and immigrants crossing into the U.S. is that the queers often plan on staying in their home state:
One Republican legislator from the Scott County community of Bettendorf said the influx from other states was nothing to celebrate.
“I feel sorry for those states where they will be going to,” said state Sen. David Hartsuch. “In those states, many of them have made their will known and … protect traditional marriage.”
. . .
“At this point, the Supreme Court of Iowa is imposing its will on other states,” Hartsuch said, adding that the issue will be a galvanizing point for Republicans in the elections next fall.
And in one fell swoop (or a court decision, whatever), Iowa became the imperialist of the Midwest! We’re not only going to export our hogs and corn, we’re gonna export our evil Supreme Court’s will!