Mr. Branstad: I respected you as my boss at DMU

DMU Assistant Professor Julia Moffitt wrote a letter to Republican gubernatorial candidate as part of our Letters to Mr. Branstad effort.

Dear Governor,

My name is Julia Moffitt and I am currently an Asst. Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at DMU and have had many positive interactions with you in the past. Your leadership as our President at DMU was truly outstanding, in both with regard to fiscal leadership and fair-minded stewardship. The policies at DMU currently and during your tenure embrace diversity and I have always felt a valued employee of DMU regardless of the makeup of my family status. I am now asking that since you are once again running for Governor of this state that you show a similar level of leadership and fairness in your policy toward gay marriage in the state of Iowa.

This past year, my partner and I had the tremendous opportunity to be legally wed under the law in the great state of Iowa, our home for many years. We have been together over 8 years and together are raising three wonderful, talented children. My partner and I are both lucky. We have great extended families, good paying jobs in higher education, care about this state and our community and in fact contribute quite a bit of tax revenue! We were so proud to be Iowans when the Supreme Court of the State of Iowa handed down its decision in the spring of 2009. Our family was finally able to achieve a level of equality and security that had not been previously allowed to us. Since last 4th of July, our marriage has strengthened our relationship and invigorated our love for this state and the values Iowans hold.

I am now deeply disturbed to think that you, my former boss, who I respected tremendously in the past are now making statements that you will work to overturn the decision handed down by the Supreme Court and if are elected may even bring my marriage to a vote.

I am writing to you today to appeal to your sense of fairness and good judgment, qualities I know you possess but seem to not be exercising over this current issue. Do think how it would feel to you if someone wanted to vote on the legality of your relationship? As I know you are aware, Loving vs. the State of Virginia was a court ruling that allowed interracial marriage. Had interracial marriage been put to a vote, who knows when and if it would have ever been attained? Allowing a majority group of citizens to vote on a matter of legal equality for a minority group of citizens seems to be one of the primary reasons we have a judicial system. I am asking you now to respect and recognize the thorough and thoughtful ruling handed down by the Supreme Court of the State of Iowa.

My partner and I are both law-abiding taxpaying citizens, who although you may disagree on the validity of our relationship via religious terms, have done nothing but contribute to this state and our community in a positive way. We would like to be able to raise our children with the confidence in the integrity of their family unit and the understanding that the state in which they live values their well-being and provides equal protection under the law. We as adult individuals would like to continue to live in a state that values our contribution by providing equal protection under the law and know we can raise our children in the same way other Iowans raise their children, with a strong sense of Midwestern values of love, commitment, community, respect, responsibility and fairness.

I urge you to consider my plea that you return to your sense of fair-minded leadership and do what is right and respect the ruling by our State Supreme Court, rather than allow whatever values are driving your current position on this issue to cloud your judgment and damage the lives responsible citizens of this state, such as myself, my partner and our 3 children.

Julia A. Moffitt