It’s no surprise that a large majority of Iowa Republican primary voters say Iowans should have a chance to vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, according to the latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll.
More than three-quarters of Iowans planning to vote in Tuesday’s Republican primary say Iowans should have a chance to vote on changing the constitution specifically to ban gay marriage, although a third of the poll respondents also said that some Iowans have overreacted on the issue, and that gay marriage in the state is just not that big a deal.
Meanwhile, another poll, released on Thursday by KCCI-TV, said that a majority of Iowans now support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.
Fourteen months after the Iowa Supreme Court cleared the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry, 53% of Iowans favor marriage rights for same-sex couples, while 41% are opposed and 6% are unsure, according to the KCCI poll.
The Iowa Family Policy Center has been threatening all of the candidates running this year, trying to convince them that Iowans will come out in droves to vote out supporters of same-sex marriage.
But in February, another Des Moines Register Iowa Poll found 62 percent of Iowans felt lawmakers had more important things to worry about than same-sex marriage.
The ongoing debate stems from the April 2009 Iowa supreme court ruling that struck down the state’s 1998 law banning gay marriage.
Since then, leaders in the Democrat-controlled Legislature have blocked debate on a constitutional amendment. Iowans can vote on a constitutional amendment referendum only after the Legislature passes a resolution allowing it in two consecutive General Assemblies.
Republican candidate for governor Bob Vander Plaats of Sioux City has urged voters to block the retention of justices this fall.