DES MOINES, Iowa — Nearly six years after a unanimous Iowa Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage, Republican lawmakers are still battling to overturn the ruling by amending the state constitution.
Sen. Dennis Guth, R-Klemme, and Rep. Greg Heartsill, R-Columbia, have introduced resolutions in the Iowa Senate and House seeking a statewide referendum on a state constitutional amendment to limit marriage to one man and one woman. The resolutions are co-sponsored by 21 other GOP legislators.
Guth acknowledged in remarks on the Iowa Senate floor last week that he faces a “seemingly impossible task” in trying to pass the resolution in the Democratic-controlled chamber. But he added, “This is what I believe,” and he wants his children and grandchildren to embrace those same values.
Since the Iowa Supreme Court ruling in April 2009, Republicans have repeatedly sought legislative approval for a statewide referendum on the issue. But Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, has blocked their efforts, saying he won’t allow discrimination to be written into the Iowa Constitution.
To amend the constitution, two consecutive General Assemblies would need to approve the amendment, which would permit the question to be placed on the ballot for consideration by Iowa voters.
In a 2014 poll, 78 percent of Iowa voters said marriage equality either had a positive impact or no impact at all on their lives.