Should the Iowa governor's mansion
return to Republican hands next year, it would house an anti-gay
marriage governor because all five GOP candidates for governor are
allied against gay marriage.
The five men spoke to a crowd of about
80 Dallas County Republicans Saturday, with all but one promising to
back putting a gay marriage ban in the Iowa constitution. But even
that candidate, State Representative Chris Rants, is against gay
The candidates spoke under a gazebo as
rain poured around them. Christian Fong, an executive for a Cedar
Rapids insurance agency, was first to speak.
“As governor I would restore a state
government that reflects Iowa's core values when it comes to
traditional marriage,” Fong said. “I believe that Iowans deserve
the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment defining
marriage as between one man and one woman. It's a constitutional
amendment I would personally support.”
State Senator Jerry Behn commented on
the intimacy of the gazebo: “It's kind of a nice, drawn-in crowd,
you know, with everyone so close. It's kind of like a family.”
Then moved on to gay marriage.
“I voted in 1998 for the Defense of
Marriage Act, that's the law that the [Iowa] Supreme Court just
overturned. In 2004, I voted for a resolution that would have put a
vote to the people to decide what traditional marriage would be in
Iowa. Unfortunately, that resolution failed by 2 votes in the Iowa
Senate. … Our goal should be to get that back in front of the
Behn went on to say he supported
throwing out the justices who legalized gay marriage in Iowa in the
spring. Three of those justices will be up for retention in 2010.
“So vote no on retention of those
three judges coming up in 2010 and you will have a say,” he said.
State Representative Rod Roberts of
Carroll also agreed that the people should vote on gay marriage.
“When it comes to the issue of
marriage in this state,” Roberts told the crowd, “the people
should decide that issue for government, not the government deciding
it for the people. And the people of Iowa will have the opportunity
to answer the question: Shall we amend the state's constitution and
put our definition of marriage in the supreme law document of this
state. And Iowans will get a chance to vote on that.”
Frontrunner Bob Vander Plaats, a
business consultant from Sioux City, renewed his pledge to issue an
executive order to put a stay on gay marriage and force a vote on the
“I will issue an executive order that
places a stay on same-sex marriages until the people of Iowa have a
right to vote on that definition of marriage. We need leadership
because today it's about marriage and freedom, but if you continue to
allow a Supreme Court to drive a car that isn't theirs it'll be about
private property, it'll be about freedom of enterprise, it'll be
about how you educate your children, it'll be about freedom of
assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, everyone of your
freedoms is up for grabs,” Vander Plaats told the crowd.
Citing no specifics, he also suggested
he would cut ties with the federal government on health care.
“This health care debate's a
debacle,” Vander Plaats said. “It'll be a complete loss of your
freedom. … We will not let the government run our health care for
The five men will face off in the June
8, 2010 Republican primary for governor. There is still time for new
candidates to enter the contest.