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 Legislature.

“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 mothers.

“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.