Archive for February 16, 2012
From One Iowa:
On February 8, 2012 Lambda Legal filed suit against the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) on behalf of Jenny and Jessica Buntemeyer, a married Iowa couple seeking an accurate death certificate for their stillborn baby, Brayden. After the loss of their son, Jenny and Jessica filled out the spaces on the death certificate form for both parents, and indicated that they were married.
IDPH sent the couple a death certificate with Jenny’s name erased.
Sign the One Iowa/ Lambda Legal petition demanding that IDPH stop erasing parents from vital records.
“After the loss of our son, Jenny and I were just trying to process our grief and get through it together,” said Jessica Buntemeyer. “To erase Jenny’s name from the death certificate was like trying to erase all the love, commitment and work we had both put into planning a family. We were in complete shock.”
A week earlier, in another Lambda Legal case, Gartner v. Iowa Dept of Public Health, a Polk County trial court affirmed that the spousal presumption of “legitimacy” applies equally to children born to married same-sex couples, and ruled that Iowa’s birth certificate statute must be interpreted in a gender-neutral way. The court ordered IDPH to issue a birth certificate to the child in Gartner listing both same-sex spouses as parents. IDPH has decided to appeal this ruling.
Lambda Legal is joined by co-counsel Sharon Malheiro, the One Iowa board chair. Together, One Iowa and Lambda Legal are working to bring justice to this family. It is a small consolation in the middle of a nightmare that no parent should EVER have to face.
Read the letter to Marianette Miller Meeks:
Director, Iowa Department of Public Health
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Dear Dr. Miller-Meeks
I am writing to urge that you issue an accurate fetal death certificate to Jenny Buntemeyer and Jessica Aiken of Davenport, Iowa, whose child, Brayden, was delivered stillborn on October 21, 2011.
Ms. Buntemeyer and Ms. Aiken are a legally married couple in the state of Iowa – and they should be treated like any other married couple who are grieving the death of a stillborn baby.
I am appalled that your office erased Ms. Buntemeyer’s name from her son’s death certificate. It is a shocking display of heartless cruelty. Shame on you.
Ms. Buntemeyer and Ms. Aiken proudly served our nation in Iraq and continue to serve in the Army Reserves. We ask that you similarly serve all Iowans and reissue an accurate fetal death certificate immediately.
Excellent article today in the Iowa State Daily. The author is sounding the alarm about the possibility of having Steve King represent Ames in Congress. You can read the entire article here.
By Jacob Witte
Thanks to this redistricting, there is a new face that may be representing Ames. His name is Steve King, and he should scare the living daylights out of you.
In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend, King began his speech saying how, because of the new compact fluorescent lightbulbs, Americans are losing their liberty. He then went on to call the janitors of the Capitol grounds that change out incandescent bulbs for the new CFL bulbs and, I quote, “Nancy’s [Pelosi] Stasi troops.”
The Stasi, or Ministry for State Security as King is speaking of here, was one of the most repressive secret police agencies in the world. They were responsible for the arrests of upwards of 200,000 East Germans during the occupation, killing untold amounts of them, mostly for political reasons. This, King tells us, is being reincarnated in the form of the janitors who change the lightbulbs.
So while King is railing away, telling fellow conservatives how they are losing their liberty because incandescent lightbulbs are on their way out (a bill signed, mind you, during the Bush administration), King quietly voted last February to extend the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, including warrantless wiretapping and surveillance.
Comparing something so trivial as purchasing lightbulbs to actively supporting being illegally spied upon by your own government is perhaps the worst form of hypocrisy that comes to my mind.
King has been quoted saying that racial profiling “has always been an important component of legitimate law enforcement.” He also said in 2008 that if President Barack Obama were to be elected president, radical Islamists and al-Qaida “will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they will declare victory in this War on Terror.”
King also voted against a $52 billion aid package for victims of Hurricane Katrina. He joined 11 (out of 435, remember) in voting this down, citing the need for “fiscal responsibility.”
He once compared immigrants to cattle by having an electrified fence that would “discourage” them from entering the country.
This election, King will be running against Christie Vilsack, the wife of former Iowa Gov. and current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. In the 2010 campaign, King neglected his opponent, Matthew Campbell, choosing not to debate him, and won in a landslide. It is unlikely that this same method will work in this campaign, as King will have to win a much larger portion of the electorate.
Politicians like King, whose rhetorical style relies heavily on closed-mindedness and a general lack of historical knowledge, may work well in the rolling hills of rural western Iowa, the stomping grounds of fellow ultraconservative Bob Vander Plaats, but the rest of the state knows better.