Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike
Gronstal has once again vowed to block any attempt to ban gay
marriage, the AP reported.
Social conservatives have rallied
behind an amendment to the Iowa constitution that would limit
marriage to heterosexual unions since an unanimous 2009 Iowa Supreme
Court ruling legalized gay marriage.
Last year, the Republican-controlled
House easily approved such an amendment, but Gronstal blocked the
measure from reaching the Senate floor, angering conservatives who
have threatened to oust him.
“People's rights should not be put to
a popular vote,” Gronstal said. “We didn't put slavery to a vote
of the people in Iowa. We didn't put the right to go to a school in
your neighborhood to a vote of the people, and we didn't put the
public accommodations law to a vote of the people in Iowa.”
Senate Minority Leader Jerry Behn, an
opponent of marriage equality, argued that the issue was about
“Iowans being allowed to vote.”
“The idea, the concept, is should the
debate be allowed?” he said.
If lawmakers do not act this year, the
earliest voters could see the measure on the ballot would be 2016.