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What the hell, Iowa?!  Back in December I chronicled a court case in Iowa Supreme Court case that said it's perfectly fine to sexually harass women and then fire them.  But now you're working on a law that changes the no-fault divorce laws because girls are "promiscuous?"  I'll get back to that in a moment after a description of what no fault divorces actually are.  No-fault divorces simply allow for couple to split up without assigning specific blame for the union's collapse.  It can only comes about if both parties totally agree on the dissolution of marital assets, child custody, support ect.  Under the proposed law, it would make it more difficult for couple to break up.  According to Radio Iowa:

Under the proposed legislation, parents with kids under the age of 18 could not get a no-fault divorce. Instead, they’d have to show a spouse was guilty of adultery, had been sent to prison on a felony conviction, had physically or sexually abused someone in the family, or had abandoned the family for at least a year.
There are so many thing wrong with this I don't know where to begin.  What happens if the people involved are just incompatible?  What if one spouse has gambling problem and they refuse to get help?  How about if he or she is only emotionally abusive as opposed to physically abusive?  According to the legislation, none of those are enough of a reason to break up a marriage.  The thinking goes that it's bad for the kids.  But why is the assumption that kids would do better in those situations rather than in safer and more emotionally supportive single-parent homes?  Eliminating no-fault divorces is stupid for oh so many reasons.  Perhaps the most stupid is State Representative Tedd Gassman's expalanation:
Representative Gassman said the issue is “near and dear” to his heart because his daughter and son-in-law recently divorced, putting his granddaughter at risk.

“There’s a 16-year-old girl in this whole mix now. Guess what? What are the possibilities of her being more promiscuous?” Gassman said. “What are the possibilities of all these other things surrounding her life that a 16-year-old girl, with hormones raging, can get herself into?

What a great and profound reason to change the laws of your state.  Your daughter's divorce apparently makes your granddaughter "more promiscuous."  You know, it's usually pretty difficult insult your entire family when you start off with the words "near and dear."  But somehow Representative Gassman has manage to call both his daughter and son-in-law bad parents for getting a divorce and his granddaughter a whore for being from a broken home.  Bravo.

But on to the substance of this ridiculous argument.  Eliminating no-fault divorce won't reduce the number of divorces, it will just make them more contentious and potentially damaging for the whole family.  Need some evidence? New York is the perfect example, since we were the last state in the union to adopt no fault divorce laws.  Bloomberg News has an article on the recent changeover.

Previously, New York was the only U.S. state without no-fault divorce. Spouses disagreed on terms of a divorce couldn’t dissolve their marriage unless one proved the other committed an act such as cruelty, adultery or abandonment.

The result was protracted for some couples, with trials over who was to blame for the dissolution of a marriage, and, sometimes, false claims to make the allegation fit the law.

This is what happens when you don't care enough to check basic facts: you end up producing legislative garbage.  All this law will end up doing is forcing people to stay longer in bad situations.  Let's stipulate that divorce can sometimes be bad for families.  One would think that the divorce rate must be soaring in the Hawkeye state for the government to take such a drastic step.  Maybe other states without no-fault divorces have significantly lower divorce rates and they want to emulate those sucesses.  That would be no and no.  According to the census bureau, not only are divorce rates dropping in the country as a whole, Iowa has the one of the lowest divorce rates of any state.  In fact, not only are divorces down in Iowa, marriages are also on the rise.  I'm going to say that one more time since State Representative Gassman is doesn't care enough to do two-minute Google search.  In Iowa, marriage is on the rise and divorce is on the decline.

Here's some more facts for the Representative.  New York State was the last commonwealth to adopt no-fault divorce laws back in 2010.  Over the last twenty years, it has had a higher rate of divorce than Iowa.  Any way you look at this problem, it's impossible to see how changing divorce laws will have the effect that he says he wants.  But way to go using the tiniest of anecdotal evidence of your daughter's divorce to take a stand against a problem that's already been on downward trajectory for the last 20 years.  Every time these people start talking about the sanctity of marriage, people should run in the other direction.

I'm confounded by you Iowa.  This constant salsa step back and forth with any form of progressive-ism is maddening.  How do you go from being one of the first states to adopt no-fault divorce laws back in 1970 to this?  Back in December I mentioned Iowa as a place of uneven progress.  The same could be said about a lot of states.  But they seem to be taking more steps backward lately.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just guessin Rep Gassbag, er, man, wonders a lot (5+ / 0-)

    about 16 yr old girls he sees and if they're promiscuous.
    Holiday get togethers at this family must be a real blast.

  •  Since people cheat while in a marraige, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, tmservo433, Ticorules

    does that mean "Mare-wage" makes people promiscuous too? Should we ban "Mare-wage"?

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it - Samuel Clemens

    by tjlord on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:05:02 AM PST

  •  Due to the uproar, the measure is dead. (13+ / 0-)

    For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. H. L. Mencken

    by MikeIa on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:05:48 AM PST

  •  "Speaking from personal experience" my parents (8+ / 0-)

    would have been better off divorced.

    •  Exactly so (0+ / 0-)

      Children do better when they don't have to live in a conflict filled environment. That's toxic.

      Not everyone can emerge through the process of dissolving a marriage and end up with an amicable divorce, but many do. That's good for their kids.

  •  We want SMALL Government (7+ / 0-)

    So small it can act as your matchmaker and more

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:07:46 AM PST

  •  I'm sure it will stop teen promiscuity (5+ / 0-)

    if the parents have to prove in court that one of them was unfaithful or abusive instead of having a more amicable and less contentious divorce.

    So the entire state of Iowa needs a new more onerous divorce law because Rep. Gassman is worried about his granddaughter's virginity?

    •  Doesn't it seem weird that Rep Gassman uses (3+ / 0-)

      his daughter as an example?  He could not stop her from getting a divorce of which he apparently does not approve, so he wants to pass a law to make it illegal.  He wants to not only restrict the availability of divorce for his own adult child, but also for every adult in Iowa.  And this is "small government"?

      “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

      by ahumbleopinion on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:49:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about boys? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ticorules, elmo, Mortifyd, Cali Scribe

    Don't we have to worry about their promiscuity?

    We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

    by Tracker on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:25:36 AM PST

    •  The boys can't help themselves (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pvasileff, Ticorules

      Oldest excuse in The Book: "The woman tempted me."

      My parents didn't get divorced, but I lost my dad when I was 11 (died of a heart attack). Now I know why I'm a slut. Maybe yank all girls out of single parent households and send them off to a "home" where they can be properly cared for, or put them in "good Christian" foster homes where their guardians can abuse them.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 01:25:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You can't blame the whole state (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patrick Costighan, Ticorules

    for the actions of one state legislator.  Imagine if all of New York had to justify Dov Hikkind.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:31:56 AM PST

  •  who cares if young women have more sex (4+ / 0-)

    More power to them, I say.  (insisting on calling 16-year-olds "girls" is part of the problem, if you ask me)

    I can't stand when people act concerned about the 'consequences' of having sex, when the same people are the source of the problem, not the sex.  They're the ones who see a problem with the nookie.  

    Basically, they think they're protecting these women, but they dont realize they're protecting the women from themselves.  In essence, they're running a racket. They're saying: "Don't do that... you have a good reputation.  It'd be a shame if somethin' happened to it."  

    They don't see the easier solution to the problem is to stop harming women who know what they want out of sex and aren't afraid to get it.  It's they who have the power to stop that cycle, within themselves.  I don't know if they want to, though.

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:33:10 AM PST

  •  This diary is a completely wrong.... (0+ / 0-)

    1)The Rep. that brought up the legislation in committee is from Boone, Ia.  It's in a part of the state that is traditionally conservative and religious.  It would be a surprise if something like that wouldn't come up.  BUT,  it was admitted that the propose legislation wouldn't even make it out of committe.  So, what's the big deal?  It's not like the whole Iowa House was considering the legislation.

    2)The lady being fired for being "too good looking" is a strange story.  She was hired from a temp. agency.  And according to law, any amployee can be fired for any reason at any time by any employer if hired from a temp. agency.  Now the employers reason for firing her was redicilous and disgusting but he had the right to do that in this circumstance.  

    3) And asking, "Really, Iowa?" in your title just gives proof that you don't have a damn clue what you're talking about.  

    4) I grew up in Iowa and now live just across the border in Omaha and even with the small amount of Iowa news I actually get, I knew more than the diarist.  And it was all from just listening to NPR.  

    Diarist, you can do better.

    •  How can one person be do wrong? (0+ / 0-)

      You seemed to have missed the point of not only this post but my previous one involving Iowa as well.  Let's go in order shall we.

      1.)  It doesn't matter if Representative Gasman is from a conservative part of the state.  A idiotic law is idiotic no matter where it's from.  Also, according to Radio Iowa, 6 other Republicans were also pushing this bill.  

      Seven Republicans in the Iowa House are pushing a bill to prohibit parents of minor children from getting a “no fault” divorce and the proposal could be debated in a House committee this week.
      Now as for the proposed legislation not coming up, that only happened after the uproar over Gassman's asinine comments regarding young girl's promiscuity.  This was detailed in the Des Moines Register the day after the original story broke.  According to the Des Moines Register:
      It cleared a subcommittee on Monday, but House Judiciary Committee Chairman Chip Baltimore, R-Boone, said the bill would not get a hearing before the full committee ahead of a looming deadline.

      Most bills now before the Legislature must win committee approval by Friday to remain viable for passage.

      The report from Radio Iowa is dated March 4th which is also when the Huffington Post and other news organization picked up the story.  The Des Moines Register is dated the day after.  So yes the bill would have been voted on by the entire Iowa house.

      2.)  Again, you seem to be having some reading comprehension difficulties.  First of all she wasn't a temp.  The Iowa woman who was fired for being "too sexy" worked for the doctor for 10 years.  Secondly, the whole crux of the case that the Iowa Supreme Court
      dealt with discrimination not her supposed temporary worker status.  From Business Insider:

      the Iowa Supreme Court determined the question to be "whether an employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction."
      I disagreed with the courts assertion that it wasn't discriminatory because any lecher could fire any women simply because he didn't think he could control himself.  Of course if you actually read either my blog post or the links I provided you'd understand that.  Then again maybe not.

      3.)  Asking really Iowa proves that at least seven representatives from the state thought it was a good idea to change the divorce laws based on nonsense.  As I stated in the post, not only is divorce on a downward trajectory in the last 20 years, Iowa's record is particularly good.  It has one of lowest divorce rates of any state in the U.S. It's second only to Massachusetts.
      Everything I've stated is backed up by facts and links to my sources.

      4.)  Congratulations on growing up in Iowa.  Despite this fact, you seem particularly ignorant to what's going on in the Hawkeye state.  

      Do everyone a favor and go troll some place else.

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