Iowa candidates vying for the
Republican Party's gubernatorial nomination are ratcheting up their
anti-gay rhetoric and fulfilling a promise to make gay marriage a
central issues in this year's race.
On Friday, Iowa State Representative
Rod Roberts added the latest twist.
Appearing before a gathering of about
30 people at Jonesy's Taco House, Roberts said that if elected he
would withhold his signature from the state budget until lawmakers
agree to allow Iowans a vote on the issue.
Social conservatives are livid at
Democrats, who control the Legislature, for blocking Republican-led
efforts to begin the multi-year process to amend the Iowa
Constitution. Before appearing on the ballot, the measure needs the
approval of two consecutive sessions of the Legislature, making 2014
the earliest voters could see the measure at the ballot box.
“It's clear people want to weigh in
on that discussion, and they should,” the Omaha World-Herald
The 52-year-old Roberts joins Sioux
City businessman Bob Vander Plaats in promising to aggressively
repeal gay marriage in the state.
Vander Plaats has pledged, if elected,
to halt gay weddings with an executive order until the issue is
decided by voters. Most analysts agree that such a move would exceed
the governor's authority and could possibly lead to impeachment
charges. His aggressive stance, however, has won him the endorsement
of the state's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, the
Christian-based Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC).
While all GOP gubernatorial candidates
say they support defining marriage as a heterosexual union in the
Iowa Constitution, only Roberts and Vander Plaats are promising
strong-arm tactics to get the job done.
was the first anniversary of the unanimous Iowa Supreme Court
decision that legalized the institution in the state.