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Iowa Governor: No connection between anti-gay marriage sentiment and teen’s murder

Monday, August 29, 2011

DES MOINES — Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad on Monday said “there’s no connection at all between Iowa’s debate over gay marriage rights and the death of Waterloo teen Marcellus Andrews.”

Gage Skidmore

Terry Branstad

“I think it’s inappropriate to try to link these two,” Branstad added, during his weekly press conference at the state capitol.

Branstad’s comment was in response to a Des Moines Register reporter who, noting that Andrews’ homicide might have been related to his sexual orientation, asked the Governor what he thought his role should be in controlling the substance and tone for the debate over LGBT rights, given the increasingly vitriolic rhetoric on the issue of same-sex marriage in Iowa.

“I think it’s inappropriate to try to link these two,” Branstad said.

“The fact of the matter is, we need to protect the health, safety and well-being of all the citizens, regardless – if somebody is murdered, it needs to be investigated and prosecuted and people held responsible for it.

“But I see no link whatsoever and I think it’s inappropriate to try to blame people that are not associated with having committed a crime. I think we need to focus on the people who committed the crime and they need to be brought to justice.”

Andrews, a 19-year-old college student, was brutally beaten in the early morning hours on August 18, and whose attackers, according to witnesses, shouted anti-gay slurs and kicked him in the face.

He died on August 20 in the company of relatives and acquaintances after being removed from life support.

Homicide detectives for the Waterloo police department stressed to reporters that they think Andrews’ beating was prompted after a long-running dispute, and not related to his actual or perceived sexual orientation.

His death has triggered an outcry from LGBTQ equality rights advocacy group One Iowa and other gay rights advocates around the nation.

The Register also noted that “gay marriage has been legal in Iowa since an Iowa Supreme Court ruling in 2009, but social conservatives continue to push the split-controlled Iowa Legislature for the right to vote to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.”

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Filed under: Iowa

22 more reader comments:

  1. Isn’t same-sex marriage legal in Iowa?

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:28pm
  2. he is right you know, just like there is no connection between humans living and air :o

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:28pm
  3. uggghhh…this is why we called him Governor Braindead in the 90′s…

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:30pm
  4. I see no connection! I see what Hate can do. And Yes the people responsible need to be caught and punished by law. This is truly sad. But until equal rights are upheld by the states and the government, this will continue to happen.

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:35pm
  5. more ignorant assholes

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:36pm
  6. Iowa= idiots out wonderin around..especially ppl like governor

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:43pm
  7. I’m so sick of this crap. When will people finally get their heads out of their backsides long enough to realize marriage equality is simply the right thing to do. Are any GLBT people secure in their marriages? Even where our unions are “legal,” they’re constantly being threatened. Bastards.

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:45pm
  8. This just makes me want to weep in frustration and anger

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:48pm
  9. I don’t know whether to weep out of sadness or anger

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:49pm
  10. ..yet more GOP lies and denials. A Repulifux politico huckster wounldn’t know how to tell the truth even if God was standing there with cue cards. Phiiitzzz…. !

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:52pm
  11. Same sex marriage is leagal in Iowa Casy.

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:55pm
  12. when oh when will the pussy lefdt fight back? the “man” above is weeping for christs sake!

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 7:55pm
  13. You mean, except for the old testament, the KKK, and Republican bigots?

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 8:01pm
  14. He’s obviously a Michelle Bachman fan.

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 8:02pm
  15. Ok, they yelled ”fa**ot at him while beating him to death.. Its a damn SHAME… No, an indescratincy (madeup a new word for how irritated I am) that he wont geg justice now.:/

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 8:38pm
  16. I’d like to pull the plug on his life support.

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 8:51pm
  17. I think it’d call for further investigation. Men get called fa**ot, sissy and p**y even if they’re not gay. My heart goes out to the poor boy. I hope he gets justice.

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 9:06pm
  18. Ok, I really need to add my 2 cent’s worth. Yes, the Govenor of Iowa is really clueless on anything that spill’s from his mouth. Marcellus was a good kid and his light was extinguished way too soon. His Aunt is a very good friend of our’s. Plus, people have problem’s accepting the Right’s of Gay’s and Lesbian’s to marry because they think so highly on the sanctity of marriage?! Then answear me this- Why is it OK for some staight man or woman to marry, divorce, marry again, divorce again? Plus continue this through out their life?! I would most certainly consider that beinging abusive to any law’s against the state or the church! Yet, they want to keep us down and beat us down and tell us we can’t marry because of the sanctity of marriage?! Damn that just doesn’t seem right in my world. I am bitching about this not because of who I’m going to be hopefully legally marry in Dec. but I have a cousin who is also going to be getting married, legally in a few week’s and for the 5th time! I really hope that some Bigoted Republican that has a queer in their family read’s this! Idiot’s!!

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 9:17pm
  19. what’s up with these halfwit politicians ?hatred is never right and to say it doesn’t lead to violence is a myopic view & does NOTHING to address the problem.my <3 goes out to that young man and his loved ones.

    Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 10:03pm
  20. Gay teens should stand up for themselves! Visit SueYourSchool.com to find out how.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 3:10pm
  21. Actually Governor there has been an established correlation between increased hate crimes and politicizing of Civil Rights.

    Denial will not change that.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 9:34pm
  22. Oh fucking PUHLEAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZE!

    Posted on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 7:40pm