Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Iowa State Senator Dennis Guth (R-Klemme)

I really looked hard to find a non-creepy photo of this guy. This was the best I could do.

How does Congress end up with so many ignorant jerks with malfunctioning ethics alarms? This is how: states elect legislators like Dennis Guth.

Guth drafted  legislation after being upset by the story of one of his constituents whose marriage fell apart because her husband turned out to be gay. Naturally, it’s up to government to solve every problem, so Guth’s brain child, Senate File 2130, requires applicants for a marriage license  to specify whether they are bisexual, heterosexual, homosexual, questioning, or “unsure.” Those who later engage in conduct contrary to that declaration would be considered by law to be liable for the dissolution of the marriage, and their transgression could result in their losing custody of their children. The Senate bill would make “sexual orientation fraud” a crime  on the same level as spousal abuse. If a member of a couple refuses to answer this intrusive question, the couple could not get a license.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that Senator Guth is an anti-gay zealot. Two years ago he promoted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would have given Iowans the right to refuse services to anyone their religion objected to, typically gays. He has been vocal about the health risks of homosexuality. He has tried to find ways to repeal marriage equality in Iowa, vowing in his campaigns to “restore traditional marriage.”

We don’t need to go into the fact that sexual orientations can be fluid, or complex, or confusing, or subject to change…do we? This is none of the government’s, any government’s, business. The proposed bill represents an unconstitutional invasion  of a citizen’s privacy and a flagrant intrusion of personal choice, liberty, and speech, which includes the right not to reveal what you don’t want to reveal, with a few judicially carved out exceptions. The government has as much business making a couple promise that they really, really love each other,  or that they will always try to be cheery around the house, or fully intend to help with the dishes. If passed into law,  Guth’s plot to make sure gays stuck in miserable marriages have no way out would be declared unconstitutional so fast the Supreme Court briefs might burst into flame.

Senator Guth doesn’t know the Bill of Rights from monosodium glutamate. Citizens who vote for fools like him do immeasurable damage to their communities and, when these hopelessly unqualified representatives who are so obtuse and arrogant that they don’t know how dumb they are slip through our porous democratic filters, we end up with…well, you can fill in the blank.

6 thoughts on “Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Iowa State Senator Dennis Guth (R-Klemme)

  1. State legislatures are indeed creepy places. The amounts of money required to buy the fealty of state legislators is mind bogglingly minute. They always one election and a few grand away from having to rely on their full time jobs for a living. It’s amazing state governments function at all.

  2. As much as I generally prefer less government involvement in our daily lives, government will be a part of marriage for the sole reason that there has to be some body with the authority to adjudicate disputes about who is entitled to what when a marriage dissolves; custody/visitation of the kids, assets, what (generally) women give up to be homemakers, etc.

    Given that, if it’s not unreasonable to get blood tests for a marriage licence, why is it unreasonable to swear the compact you’re entering in to is done so honestly? Let’s face it, by the time you get married, your sexual preferences are figured out.

    To quote our man Joe Biden, marriage is a big effin deal. A LOT of emotion involved.

    Apply the golden rule? Sure, but sometimes people aren’t honest. I know someone that had the spouse leave for a same sex relationship a year or so after marriage – not a lot of assets involved, but there was a child involved. I grew up without a dad and it sucked. How about growing up with that? By the time you’re 10-11 years old, you start to know what’s up, and God forbid your friends find out.

    I haven’t thought through what the adjudication should be in such an event, but there should be enough of a penalty to make someone think twice.

    The results of a blood test a are immediate, so if your partner has a disease, at least you’ve got fair warning then and there that something may be amiss.

    In this day and age of “sexual fluidity” it may be more necessary than not. Marriage is a huge deal, and one shouldn’t be able to sandbag it, given the potential of what’s involved.

    • I love how it’s still even a thing to pretend that a person who is just “gay” (and not at most simply bisexual) can somehow accidentally marry the opposite gender.

      In the age of porn it’s going to be more and more common for marriages to end when Individual A discovers a desire for a fetish that Individual B is unable or unwilling to make happen in the bedroom. Those discoveries are now possible without having to put oneself into physically risky situations.

    • Well, the government can compel a blood test as a “reasonable search,” but can’t compel speech. Essentially, the distinction comes down to the two amendments involved. Both are big deals, but the First is a bigger deal than the Fourth. If someone doesn’t want to reveal his or her current sexual orientation to the government, the Bill of Rights says he doesn’t have to.

  3. If he was going to swing for the fences with a controversial law, he should have picked an actual good one, like, say, automatic paternity testing at birth. At least get a good conversation started.

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