Republican lawmakers in both chambers
of the Iowa Legislature have failed in their bid to force a vote on a
constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, the Iowa
Because amending the Iowa Constitution
requires the approval of two consecutive legislative sessions before
going before the voters, the loss means the earliest voters could
vote on the issue is 2014.
One Senate Democrat – Tom Hancock of
Epworth – crossed the aisle to join all 18 Republicans who favor
the measure. But the Senate's other 31 Democrats stood united
against forcing a floor vote on the bill that remains stalled in
A similar procedural move in the House
also attracted only one
Democrat, Representative Dolores Mertz of Ottosen.
Republicans remain fixated on the Iowa
Supreme Court's April 3, 2009 ruling legalizing gay marriage and have
vowed to overturn it. All of the state's Republican gubernatorial
candidates favor putting a gay marriage ban in the Iowa Constitution.
Only former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who is campaigning for
his old job, has
suggested he favors recognizing gay unions, but remains opposed
to gay marriage.
Last year, Republicans made several
attempts to bring a similar measure to the floor. Democratic
leaders, however, managed to block the efforts.