Report From the Ground: Iowa

Last week, I got back to GLAAD's NYC office from a week and a half trip to Iowa. I traveled to Des Moines to assist One Iowa with their media and communications work.  As a member of GLAAD's Media Field Strategy team, working on the ground with the great staffs of One Iowa and Lambda Legal was an amazing experience!  The mood on the night I got in was hopeful--the next morning by 8:30 a.m. we expected to hear the Iowa Supreme Court's historic decision about marriage equality. When we all heard the good news, a unanimous win for marriage equality, we celebrated! But only for a minute, because we soon realized there was much work to do.
Lambda Legal's Camilla Taylor, architect of the marriage case, at the press conference. (Image credit: Lambda Legal)

Lambda Legal's Camilla Taylor, architect of the marriage case, at the press conference. (Image credit: Lambda Legal)

One Iowa's Communications Director, Justin Uebelhor, and I raced to put the final touches on the speech prepared for the organization's ED, Carolyn Jenison. (Jenison is a GLAAD-trained spokesperson.) The Des Moines Register has extensively covered the marriage case, including the Lambda Legal press conference:
Iowa will "set the standard for fairness and equality in the Midwest," said Carolyn Jenison.
You can see much more of the coverage here at glaadBLOG. After the press conference, we set out to work on media relations for the ten celebratory rallies One Iowa's organizers had planned across the state. That weekend, and the following week, was full of successful and challenging work. Though we had a lot to celebrate--the court's unanimous ruling, the great rallies in small and large cities, and the large number of newspaper editorial boards that came out in favor of the decision--one of our top priorities was to educate Iowans. Despite all these victories, anti-gay extremists have been, and unfortunately still are, working harder than ever to take away the freedom to marry in Iowa.
Actress Alicia Silverstone appears in the latest video parody of the anti-gay extremist paid TV commercial.

Actress Alicia Silverstone gets laughs in the latest spoof of the anti-gay extremist paid TV commercial.

You've probably seen the out-of-touch, nonsensical, paid TV advertisement that these anti-gay extremists produced. You've probably also seen the hilarious parody videos. Here's the latest. I'm going off to Des Moines again this weekend to prepare for April 27, the first day same-sex couples will be able to obtain marriage licenses. GLAAD's Media Field Strategy team does this type of local work every day. See team member Adam Bass' coverage from his work in Colorado for the Zapata trial. Stay tuned for updates from my second '09 Iowa trip and all the exciting marriage day updates!