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Iowa

Iowa GOP try for statewide vote to bring an end to same-sex marriage

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa — A Republican state senator began the lengthy process Tuesday of forcing a statewide vote on gay marriage, proposing a constitutional ban that would require approval twice in the Iowa Assembly before it heads to voters.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Iowa since a unanimous 2009 state Supreme Court ruling, which found that a law limiting marriage to between a man and woman violated the state constitution’s equal-protection clause.

But Sen. Dennis Guth (R-Klemme), said voters should get to decide whether gay marriage is permitted.

“I think the way that it was done did not allow the people any input. The people of Iowa need to have their voice heard,” said Guth, whose resolution has 17 co-sponsors.

The measure would need to be approved by the current Assembly and then one elected in 2014 before it could go to voters.

The effort has little chance of advancing since Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal , of Council Bluffs, has repeatedly blocked any debate of such an amendment since the court ruling.

Donna Red Wing, executive director of One Iowa, the state’s largest gay advocacy group, said she doubted the legislation would go anywhere.

“I’ve talked to a number of Republicans who really want to get past this. We’re going to celebrate four years of equality here in Iowa next month. The sky hasn’t fallen. It seems like a waste of the Senate’s time,” Red Wing said.

The court’s ruling made Iowa the nation’s third state to legalize same-sex unions. Nine states and the District of Columbia, now have legalized same-sex marriage.

Between 2009 and 2011, there were 4,600 same-sex marriages in Iowa, according to the state’s public health department.

A 2012 poll by the Des Moines Register found that a majority of Iowans oppose passage of a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The poll found that 38 percent favor a legislative initiative to pass a constitutional amendment, while 56 percent are against.

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18 more reader comments:

  1. always amazing..theGOP has NO time for a JOBS bill, no time for closing TAX loopholes benefiting dcorporations and the VERY rich BUT has al lthe time needed t oCREATE discrinimation and destroy women’s rights…sounds UNAMERICAN

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:12pm
  2. one more reason why Iowa sucks

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:13pm
  3. Smh …

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:15pm
  4. Iowa legalized same-sex marriage in 2009. These bigots need to GET THE FUCK OVER IT!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:16pm
  5. Go ahead and try, but you’ll find that once the SCOTUS makes their decision about Prop 8 that you won’t be allowed to do that anymore!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:17pm
  6. Ahh…a perfect example of “smaller government” in action.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:18pm
  7. Same-sex marriage is a CIVIL RIGHT!!! And until we treat it so these situations will happen like it sadly and pathetically did in NC! Yes, the tide of conscious evolution is growing, but it is slow and ignorance permeates through every voting district, some more than others. This ignorance is in the evangelical conservative Christian groups, regardless of race. If we left the Civil Rights Act up to the popular vote, it wouldn’t have passed back then. The GOP knows exactly what they are doing and they will triumph if we don’t start defining same-sex marriage as a basic human right, a civil right and civil rights don’t represent the majority thought at a particular point in time but are to protect each individual human rights, just like the Civil Rights Act did to protect the minority rights of blacks; and by the way, blacks don’t own the civil rights movement which is a evolving entity all its own for the rights of all human beings, pure and simple.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:19pm
  8. sooo true susan long Brian Gregory

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:21pm
  9. I find it incredible that lawmakers continue to waste so much time and energy on trying to take away equality when there are so many greater economic and social issues they could be focusing on.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:22pm
  10. Sore losers.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:26pm
  11. The hate never stops.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:28pm
  12. Great, they vote on something they dont even do.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:43pm
  13. what is wrong with these people? How can gay marriage possibly hurt any of them? I hope the people of my home state will stand up and be counted if this issue does make it to a state wide vote. Why take away something as basic as human rights?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:43pm
  14. Let’s start by not saying “gay marriage”. If we want to be treated equally, we have to stop singling ourselves out. It’s marriage equality.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 2:46pm
  15. Was this voted on by the people??

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 3:04pm
  16. Marriage equality; civil rights equality=marriage.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 3:45pm
  17. They are going backwards!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 3:53pm
  18. They need to read about diverse se xuality and dget to know some gay families.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 4:20pm