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Iowa’s governor-elect wants vote to ban gay marriage, criticizes Senate leader

Monday, December 6, 2010
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Terry Branstad

Iowa’s Republican Governor-elect Terry Branstad has renewed his call for a statewide vote to ban gay marriage, and has called the Democratic State Senate Majority Leader a dictator for not allowing senators to take up the matter.

“Just because you’re a leader in the Legislature doesn’t mean you’re a dictator where you have the right to make a unilateral decision,” Branstad said, speaking Monday at a gathering organized by The Associated Press

He said state Senators should be given an opportunity to vote on the issue, but Senate Leader Michael Gronstal has promised to block efforts to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

“The Supreme Court, I think, made a tragic mistake in their decision on same-sex marriage,” said Branstad.

“The voters of Iowa have overwhelmingly rejected three members of the Supreme Court because of it and I think we need to restore support for the judicial system, and one way to do that is to give people the opportunity to vote on restoring the one-man, one-woman marriage.”

In April 2009, Iowa became the third state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage after the state Supreme Court ruled that a law defining marriage as only between men and women was unconstitutional.

On Nov. 2, three Iowa Supreme Court justices up for retention were ousted from the bench, as voters sided with conservative gay marriage opponents angered by the court’s ruling that allowed same-sex marriage.

For the issue to come before Iowa voters, a proposed constitutional amendment has to be approved in exactly the same form by two consecutive general assemblies.

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