I give Jane Schmidt a world of credit. The Iowa high school student held her own in an exchange with Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. At Schmidt’s age, shaking a candidate’s hand was enough to make me forget my name.

I grew up in New Hampshire, where, due to the state’s first-in-the-nation primary, presidential candidates are as abundant as black flies. I assume the Iowa caucuses mean the Hawkeye State is likewise swarming with presidential wannabes.

These Famous and Important People are intimidating when you’re young and I couldn’t have managed more than reading a question aloud before losing the use of my vocal cords.

Not so for Jane Schmidt on a recent day in the Pizza Ranch restaurant in Waverly, Iowa. The Des Moines Register, which carried an account of the back-and-forth with Bachmann, didn’t give Schmidt’s age or her year in school, but did say she’s the president of Waverly High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance, so I’ll think of her as a senior.

I’ll also take a moment to drop my jaw that Waverly High even has a Gay-Straight Alliance.

Standing amidst a supportive crowd of about 65 people, mostly middle-aged and elderly, Michele Bachmann might’ve thought she was home free. Then, as a CNN video showed, she and her microphone headed toward the student in the red plaid trooper hat.

Schmidt told Bachmann she was concerned about the lack of government support for the LGBT community. Bachmann replied that the government’s job is to protect civil rights. “We all have the same civil rights,” she concluded.

That would’ve been the moment where I’d have thought to myself, “There’s something wrong with that statement and my God everyone is staring at me.”

Not Schmidt. She responded, “Then, why can’t same-sex couples get married?”

The candidate answered, “They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or, they can marry a woman if they’re a man.”

Now that the country has gotten a peek at Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus, a sizable number of people believe that the woman is speaking from experience here.

Schmidt asked why two men can’t marry, and Bachmann answered that’s the law. “So heterosexual couples have a privilege,” responded Schmidt.

She was still being logical, while I’d have long since been carried away on a stretcher.

Straight couples have the same legal opportunity, said Bachmann. “There is no right to same-sex marriage.”

Except for where she was standing. It escaped Bachmann’s notice that same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa.

“So you won’t support the LGBT community?” asked the student.

“No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices,” said the congresswoman, who must’ve been annoyed at God for forcing her to talk about sex with a high school student in front of scads of Iowa senior citizens.

Ella Newell, a junior at the high school, tried to advance the point about privilege before the debate ended with Bachmann repeating that every American can marry, just someone of the opposite sex.

Most of Bachmann’s statements received applause, probably as much an attempt to silence the girls as to indicate support. But, Schmidt carried on, doggedly and civilly, despite the disapproval of her neighbors and despite the presence of reporters and cameras.

I hope someone bought her a pizza afterwards. Unless she felt like throwing up.

After the exchange between the high school students and the congresswoman, a young man told Schmidt and Newell that they should “emulate” Bachmann.

Yes, if Schmidt conforms and turns into an always-feminine Christian soldier she could land a guy like him.

Now I’m sure she felt like throwing up. : :

info: lesarobinson@gmail.com . generalgayety.com


2 replies on “Iowa teen argues the good argument”

  1. WHY is it that society has to accomodate the paraphilia of the sodomites? And you know its a paraphila, despite what the APA may have ruled in the vote in 1973; that was politics, not science.

    You people are ill. You have a higher suicide rate, higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse, depression, etc. Most of that is attributable to your sexual perversions.

    Go back in your closets if you know what’s good for you.

  2. @PaulaNYCUS

    First, why are you even on a LGBT Media site?

    Second, despite your vocabulary, your response seems to show how ignorant you are to the real facts.

    If you want to get technical, most of the world participates in sodomy. Sodomy is defined as sexual intercourse involving anal or oral copulation.
    Paraphilia is a condition characterized by abnormal sexual desires, typically involving extreme or dangerous activities. Considering same sex intercourse has occurred in all species for as long as anyone can remember, I would say that fits under the definition of normal. Also, there is nothing extreme or dangerous about it. Now, BDSM and activities similar could be classified as extreme, but homosexual couples have just as much typical plain sex as straight couples. The idea that same sex intercourse is dangerous is laughable. No matter who you have sex with, there are health risks. That is why EVERYONE should remember to keep it safe with protection and always get tested.

    Saying “You people” is derogatory. If you have a fact or opinion, it is easy to state it without using that kind of attitude. It is just as bad to do that to homosexuals as it is to people of different ethnic origins and religions.

    Homosexuality is not an illness, that has long been proved repeatedly. Those statistics are high because of the pressure surrounding being LGBT. You might get drunk or high if people were constantly harassing you too. If narrow minded people got to vote on whether you could marry the person you love you might get depressed too. If your parents couldn’t accept and love you for the person you are you might kill yourself too. Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans isn’t what does that to the people in this community. The ignorance and hate of people who don’t understand is what causes it. It has nothing to do with our “perversions”. Who we love isn’t perverted. The way the world twists it is. For most of the community, it isn’t even just the sexual desire. It is the fact that they are emotionally, mentally, and spiritually attracted to them as well. The same as any heterosexual relationship. If it was just a perversion, we would be just as happy having sex without marriage. LGBT wouldn’t care about equal rights and acceptance if it was only a sexual impulse. Did you ever think about that? Why fight so hard for equality if its just sex? Because its not. Its more than sex. It is about being yourself and being with who you love.
    If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t marry someone of the same sex. If you don’t like homosexual sex, then don’t participate. But leave the people who do alone. If it doesn’t involve you then you have no right to tell someone that its wrong and that they don’t deserve their rights.

    Going back in the closet doesn’t change the fact that we are this way. We are still gay no matter if we are closeted or not.

    I am proud of who I am, and I will not hide it and be ashamed. It is you who should be ashamed. I pity you for your ignorance and hope one day you may see the truth, not a fearful and uninformed delusion.

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