Senator Tom Harkin has come out in
support of Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal's decision on
Gronstal, a Democrat, has vowed to keep
a resolution seeking to place a gay marriage ban in the Iowa
Constitution from reaching the Senate floor. The effort to reverse
the state Supreme Court's 2009 ruling legalizing the institution was
overwhelmingly approved last month in the House.
Social conservatives who oppose gay
marriage have targeted Gronstal for ouster.
“Mike Gronstal is one of the finest
public servants I have ever met in my life,” Harkin told reporters
on Thursday, the Des Moines Register reported. “He has
dedicated his life to fighting for working families, for those who
don't have a lot of power and a lot of wealth.”
“I will do everything I can to
support him and back him” in his reelection bid, Harkin said.
Harkin added that Gronstal's decision
is “right on target.”
The senator said his thinking on
whether to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry has “evolved”
since he voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which
bans federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay
“I don't think there should be
discrimination about who is able to establish relationships like that
in a contractual marriage, in a civil marriage,” he said.