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Iowa grandmother ‘outraged’ over efforts to repeal marriage equality

Monday, February 14, 2011

An 80-year-old grandmother has taken to YouTube to speak out on marriage equality, her gay son, his marriage, and her outrage over the effect the gay marriage debate is having on her and her family.

Jean Argus

Jean Argus was inspired by the recent video of Zach Wahls, a University of Iowa student who spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on Iowa’s House Joint Resolution 6, an amendment that seeks to repeal the state’s marriage equality law, and deny any form of legal recognition for gay couples.

“When our son came out to us in 1980, we were stunned, confused and angry … years later, after the shock wore off, and we saw the life our son had created with his future husband Bob, I realized that he is still my son — and that in many ways, nothing has changed,” said Jean.

“The actions and words of some affect my son, his husband, my family and my grandchildren. My son is not an issue. He is a person, just like you.”

“I am outraged by the way gay marriage is being used by some to further their own political ambitions. I was sickened when the state Supreme Court judges were dismissed by the voters, removed because of peoples’ prejudices.

“Discrimination affects all of us — not just me, as a mother of a gay son.”

Watch here:

On Feb. 1, the Iowa state House passed the amendment by a vote of 62-37.

The bill is now headed to the Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has vowed to block it from coming to the floor for a vote.

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23 more reader comments:

  1. I thought my grandma was the only cool grandma like this!
    I’m so happy I’m wrong.

    Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 8:32pm
  2. GO GRAMMA! :D <3

    Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 8:36pm
  3. Iowa is basswards(assbackwards). You can’t say “heres some equality for you, and you… Oh wait, you know what…We didn’t mean to give equality to you, sorry.” It’s like saying, yes – you’re equal to us…no wait, JUST KIDDING HAHAHA!

    Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 8:42pm
  4. Go get them girlfriend!

    Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 8:42pm
  5. I love this lady, if my grandma was still alive, she’d be saying the same thing about this right now.. she really reminds me of my grandma.

    Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 8:46pm
  6. This is the kind of example the LGBT community needs. More people to come out and say, “hey once I felt this way, but now that I see my son/daughter happy with their partner I see they’re a family”. The reason why we need more of this is because I believe a lot of ignorance is a result of same sex couples having had to hide their lives from public view for so long.

    We need to stay focused and fight anti-gay legislation in general, but especially when it comes to forcing our friends and loved ones back into the closet because other people think there is something they should be ashamed of when it is they who should be ashamed for allowing their prejudices, misperceptions, religious beliefs, and general ignorance to make decisions about how someone should live their lives and whom they should be living it with.

    A family has many modern day definitions that are far removed from the 50′s nuclear concept. This is merely another one. Get over it already.

    Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 9:47pm
  7. She wins.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 6:01am
  8. Bravo!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 6:59am
  9. you go Iowa grandmother. i feel the same way. More power to you.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 7:22am
  10. My gay uncle’s marriage to a another man in California and my MTF transgender wife has not taken effect with us Idk why it feels like to this granny that gay marriage is taking her effect.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 1:18pm
  11. This is my grandmother and I am so overwhelmed with all the support she has gotten!! Our family is so so proud of her!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 4:16pm
  12. Thank her from my husband and I. We have been in a committed relationship for 14 years and my parents still do not vote for marriage equality. maybe someday they may see the light.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 11:33pm
  13. Emily - I would be proud of her too! What an amazing speech! Not only does she accept her son for who he is but she also celebrates him as a mother should! You have a remarkable role model if you are or will become a mother one day! Much affection and adoration for your grandmother! Patrick

    Replied on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 12:12am
  14. Really great video! What an awesome mom and grandmother. Her family must be so proud. :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 4:46pm
  15. Please tell your grandmother THANK YOU from every homosexual in NY!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 5:13pm
  16. I am glad to hear your words. Hearing you speaking against discrimination means a lot to me, and I know it means a lot to many people around the world. God bless you!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 6:04pm
  17. WOW! How moving! I wish the narrow minded bigots who believe it is their job to decide who someone can love would take a moment & listen to the words of this woman! It’s incredible & beautiful to see people stepping up like this!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 7:56pm
  18. Wow!! What a wonderful lady who speaks from her heart. As a 59 year old gay man, when I hear of support from others such as this articulate and caring woman, it warms my heart. Thank You for taking the time to share your love and your open mind. God Bless You…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 7:58pm
  19. Thank you for your inspired devotion, words of wisdom, and willingness to ‘come out’ as a family member of your gay son! I greatly appreciate your truth-telling and your willingness to admit the struggles you went through when your son came out to you. Continued blessings to you and your family. They have to be so proud of you!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 7:10am
  20. Thank you to this strong woman!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 12:30pm
  21. I don’t care if men want to be with men and women with women. They should be allowed to have a civil union ceremony and be given the same rights as a man and a woman married have. They should be given the right to make life or death calls for their loved one if in a hospital or be allowed to be in the room with them. They should be held to the same punishments if they are abusive to their partner or if any children are involved and abused as well, and have to be divorced just like a man and a woman. Nothing should be any different.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 12:56pm
  22. It was so hard to choke back tears while watching this. I want to hug her.

    Posted on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 1:38am