Hundreds of people attended a public
hearing at the Iowa House to debate placing a gay marriage ban in the
Iowa Constitution and thereby repealing a 2009 Supreme Court ruling
legalizing the institution.
The resolution proposes banning gay
marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and any government
recognition of gay and lesbian couples.
Social conservatives claim voters spoke
on the issue on November 2 when they voted in Republican Governor
Terry Branstad and increased the number of GOP voices in the
“I support marriage as created by
God, consistent with natural law and God's law and if this is on the
ballot, I will be leading the campaign to support that institution of
marriage that we have embraced in this state for so many years,”
Danny Carroll, of the Christian conservative group The Family Leader,
told lawmakers. “But my purpose here tonight is to respectfully
ask that we have a chance to vote on our constitution.”
Nineteen-year-old Zach Wahls, a
University of Iowa student, testified that he has thrived with two
“Our family really isn't so different
from any other Iowa family,” he said. “You know, when I'm home
we go to church together; we eat dinner; we go on vacations. …
We're Iowans. We don't expect anyone to solve our problems for us.
We'll fight our own battles. We just hope for equal and fair
treatment from our government.” (The video is embedded in the
right panel of this page.)
The resolution, called the Iowa
Marriage Amendment (IMA), won approval of a House committee last week
and 56 House Republicans have pledged their support. Only 50 votes
are needed in the 100 member chamber to approve the measure.
A similar version of the resolution
faces a much steeper incline in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where
Majority Leader Michael Gronstal has vowed to block the measure from
reaching the floor.