Iowa Special Election: GOP Candidate Says She’s ‘Troubled By Schools Offering Scholarships To Gay Students

Republican candidate Cindy Golding

The two candidates in Iowa’s special election for the senate seat in District 18 reiterated their positions on same-sex marriage during an interview with The Gazette’s editorial board yesterday. Marriage equality proponents and opponents are watching the race closely, since a Republican victory would split the senate and could allow Republicans to push through a constitutional amendment prohibiting such unions.

Democrat Liz Mathis told the Gazette she supported the state Supreme Court’s ruling, which found an Iowa law prohibiting same-sex marriage unconstitutional, while Republican Cindy Golding claimed that the issue should be put to a popular vote so “the spotlight can come off Iowa for that issue and we can focus on business.” But then Golding went further, arguing that the court’s decision has changed Iowa for the worse by allowing organizations to sponsor LGBT-themed scholarships:

Q — How do think the ruling has changed Iowa?

Golding — “I don’t know how the ruling has dramatically changed, but I can see changes in the schools. I am a volunteer in the high schools. And in my daughter’s high school, they have a scholarship for a gay student. And I am curious what the sexual orientation of a student should be for a scholarship in high school. That troubles me.”

Q — Is that the only criteria for the scholarship?

“Well there’s academics, but you must be a declared GLBT student in order to apply for it. That troubles me.

Some scholarships are designed to offer under-represented groups the opportunity to attend better schools, college and universities and it’s troubling to hear Golding objecting to aid that specifically seeks to help LGBT youth — particularly as so many are depressed and even taking their lives as a result of high school bullying. One wonders if she would take the same tone towards scholarships designed for African Americans, Latinos, women, or Christians.