Emboldened by their successful campaign
to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices who favored gay marriage,
coupled with a Republican takeover of the House, social conservatives
are pressuring Governor-Elect Terry Branstad to end the Midwest's
only gay marriage law now.
campaign to drive out three out of seven of the justices who
unanimously voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage last year
was spearheaded by Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats.
Vander Plaats turned his attention to
the judicial bench after his social issues-driven campaign failed to
win him the Republican nomination for governor.
The earliest lawmakers could put a
constitutional amendment banning gay marriage before voters is 2014,
provided the measure passes both legislative chambers twice. Senate
Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, a Democrat, has already said he'll
block the measure from coming to the senate floor.
“People don't want to wait four, six,
eight years to have their voice heard on this issue,” Vander Plaats
told the Quad City Times. “They want to have the
legislature let their voice be heard, they want to have the governor
to let their voice be heard.”
Vander Plaats said he'll continue to
pressure Branstad, who opposes gay marriage, to end the law by
executive order, a move the governor-elect dismissed as illegal
during the campaign.
“The courts have said, no, the
governor doesn't have the authority to overrule a Supreme Court
decision by executive order,” he said on Wednesday. “I know of
no state that has ruled that way and I guess if somebody wants that
to be done, I think they'd have to cite some legal authority as to
why you should do that.”