Iowa House approves marriage amendment
DES MOINES, Iowa, February 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Iowa House of Representatives approved a resolution Tuesday that would allow voters to vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
The Des Moines Register reports that House Republicans were joined by three Democrats in a 62-37 vote.
Iowa has allowed same-sex “marriage” ever since its Supreme Court ruled 7-0 on April 3, 2009 that the state Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the state constitution’s guarantees of equal protection.
However, during this past election cycle, state voters punished three state Supreme Court Justices, including the Chief Justice, for their ruling by denying them another 8-year term.
Justice David L. Baker, Justice Michael J. Streit, and Chief Justice Marsha Ternus were up for retention votes to stay on the state Supreme Court under Iowa’s constitution, and were sent packing by voters.
The Register said that debate on the resolution lasted over three hours and was emotionally charged.
Rep. Phyllis Thede (D-Bettendorf) accused supporters of the amendment of “in some way initiating hatred.”
“That is not your intention but you’re initiating it,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who they are, we are to love everyone.”
Rep. Rich Anderson (R-Clarinda), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the state had an interest in fostering responsible procreation, and the same-sex “marriage” decision was paving the way for the state to accept polygamous relationships in law.
The resolution now heads to the state Senate. Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) says that he will block the resolution even if it means the loss of his leadership position or even his Senate seat, reports the Associated Press.
Earlier last week, Senate President Jack Kibbie blocked debate on the resolution, and his decision was upheld in the chamber by a 26-24 party line vote.
If the resolution is passed by both chambers of the legislature, Iowa voters would have to approve it on the 2014 ballot, or earlier through a special election, before the amendment could go into effect.