About 500 supporters of a
constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Iowa rallied Tuesday
at the Statehouse, the Des Moines Register reported.
A resolution authorizing a ballot
question that would define marriage as a heterosexual union in the
constitution has cleared the Republican-led House. But Majority
Leader Michael Gronstal has blocked the measure in the Democrat-led
Senate. Gronstal has said he understands his actions could cost him
Social conservatives continue to fight
against the 2009 unanimous Iowa Supreme Court decision that brought
gay marriage to the Midwest.
Demonstrators, many clad in red,
demanded the right to vote on the marriage amendment, chanting “Let
us vote” at the rally organized by Bob Vander Plaats' socially
conservative group The Family Leader.
The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., the pastor
of Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines and the
president of the Iowa-Nebraska chapter of the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), claimed that gay
rights advocates had “hijacked” the civil rights debate.
“That is an insult to the civil
rights movement,” Ratliff said. “Deviant behavior is not the
same as being denied your right to vote.”
Meanwhile, gay marriage supporters
lobbied lawmakers inside the Capitol rotunda.