Foes of gay marriage in Iowa want
Governor Chet Culver to stop a state Supreme Court decision
legalizing gay marriage with an executive order, reports the Des
Monday, hundreds of people attended an
anti-gay marriage rally at the Iowa Statehouse. It was the third
large rally gay marriage opponents have staged since the state
Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision striking down a gay
marriage ban on April 3, a Friday.
The day was wet and gray as Republican
candidate for governor Bob Vander Plaats demanded Culver immediately
shut off gay marriage before it begins – April 24 – by issuing an
executive order. Invalidating the state Supreme Court order can only
be accomplished by placing a gay marriage ban in the state
constitution – a time consuming process in Iowa that requires two
consecutive nods from the General Assembly followed by a vote of the
people. The earliest voters could see the issue is 2012. But even
that late date is in jeopardy because Democratic leaders in the
Legislature have refused to take up the issue.
“I don't want to wait two years,”
Vander Plaats told the crowd. “I want this governor to issue an
executive order that says there will be a stay on all same-sex
marriages until the people of Iowa have the right to vote.”
“If I have the opportunity to serve
as your next governor, and if no leadership has been taken to that
point, on my first day of office I will issue an executive order that
puts a stay on same-sex marriage until the people of Iowa vote, and
when we vote we can affirm and amend the constitution,” he added.
Vander Plaats has mounted two
unsuccessful bids to become governor in the past and strongly backed
anti-gay Governor Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign.
A Culver spokesman dismissed the
proposition as pandering.
“Governors in Iowa do not have the
ability to prevent or overturn a decision of the Supreme Court
through an executive order,” said Phil Roeder. “It's
disappointing that some people, especially politicians, would try to
mislead the public into thinking that governors do have such power.”
People attending the rally wore red,
the anti-gay marriage color meant to symbolize the blood of Jesus