This article is titled "Gay Families Can't Camp in Iowa?", but the title is a bit misleading. It may well be true that gay families can't BE camp in Iowa, but they can camp there. At issue is whether they can camp as a family.
Families at Iowa state parks get to pitch an extra tent or so on their site without incurring an extra fee. For the kids, of course. I went camping as a kid with my father and sort-of-stepmother, and my sister and I got a tent to ourselves. Which was the way all of us liked it. And the powers that control these things with regards to Iowa state parks want to allow all families this little concession to their familyhood. Which means they have to work around the language of their policy, which mentions "husband and wife" instead of "spouses". So given that same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa, the Department of Natural Resources wants to update the wording to something more reality-based, more 21st-century. Great. But hold! Iowa State Senator Merlin Bartz is not happy about this one bit!
Bartz is a noted opponent of same-sex marriage, by which I of course mean that he's a homophobe. And he is currently in a froth about campgrounds treating all families equally. And admitting that legal marriages are legal. Which makes some sense, since he first tried to stop same-sex marriages from becoming legal, then tried to stop them from being performed, and having failed at both attempts, is with astonishing perseverance now trying to get people to pretend that the legalized marriages don't exist. Memo to Bartz: Google the phrase "Quit while you're ahead". But if you give the matter a modicum of thought, he's not making any sense.
A family that has to pay more to put up extra tents is basically being encouraged not to put up extra tents. (Didja hear about the gay dads who went camping? They pitched two tents!) Let's think on this one. A same-sex couple is being encouraged to have their children in the same tent with them. How does this sound good to people who think gays are icky?
Perhaps the forced co-sleeping is to prevent immorality. Allowed their own tent, gay and lesbian couples will doubtless engage in HOT GAY WILDERNESS SEX! This should be prevented; therefore, let us force proximity to their adenoidal pre-teen, bed-wetting toddler, or Mr Bun, the three-foot furry creature their six-year-old can't sleep without. That'll fix them!
And it will. Because parents don't tend to get sexual when their kids are right there with them. Most parents, anyway. My mother felt fine about having sex with her boyfriend in the same room with her two young daughters, but I don't think she represents the majority. And may I mention here that I felt anything but fine about that situation? Please don't fuck in front of your kids. It makes them feel icky. Back to my point, though: same-sex couples don't do it next to their kids for the same reason opposite-sex couples don't. Because they care about not screwing their kids up. A fact Bartz comes perilously close to admitting. Because if same-sex couples really consist of depraved perverts, it would be better to let them erect (hee hee) a tent city rather than expose innocent children to HOT GAY WILDERNESS SEX! Won't someone please THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!
Bartz is not thinking of the children. Bartz doesn't even seem to be thinking of their parents. Bartz's thought processes, as far as I can determine, are as follows: Privilege GOOD. Gays BAD. Letting gays have privilege BAD. That's a large portion of homophobia in a nutshell, right there.
If Mr Bartz objects to camping gay families, then I encourage him to take a firm stand and not camp where gay families camp. Or where any families camp. Because frankly, I wouldn't want him around my children, and I don't think he's a great guy to have around anybody's children. No matter how many tents are involved.