“It's wrong to put your rights to a popular vote of the people,” Iowa Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal insisted during an editorial board meeting with the Des Moines Register.

Gronstal was commenting on charges that he is obstructing democracy by not allowing a resolution that seeks to repeal gay marriage in the state from coming up for a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Last week, a similar measure was easily approved by Republicans in the House.

If approved by lawmakers and voters in 2013, the Iowa Marriage Amendment (IMA) would ban gay marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and any government recognition of gay and lesbian couples in the state, and thereby repeal the 2009 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that brought gay marriage to the Midwest.

“We did not put it to a vote of the people when Iowa took out … the prohibition on interracial marriage,” Gronstal told reporters. “We did not put the right of different-race couples to a vote of the people. We didn't put to a vote of the people whether or not women should be admitted to the bar. We didn't put to a vote of the people whether Ralph should be put back into slavery – in the first decision of the Iowa Supreme Court.”

“I'm not going to put to a vote of the people anybody's constitutional rights. Because if I can do that to gay people, I can do it to Catholics, I can do it to Methodists, I can do it to Baptists, I can do it to blacks, I can do it to Hispanics. If I can put to a vote of the people, people's constitutional rights, then you may be popular today - old white guys like us might be popular today and our rights will be fine - but someday the baby boom will be gone and there won't be enough old white guys left to protect us from the tyranny of the majority.”