The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM) is targeting Democratic candidate Liz Mathis, who is running
for the Iowa Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Senator Swati
The November 8 race could determine
whether gay marriage is debated in the Senate.
The Democrat-controlled Senate, under
the leadership of Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, has kept an
effort to repeal the state's gay marriage law at bay. In February,
the Republican-controlled House approved a measure that seeks to put
a question on the ballot that would define marriage in the Iowa
Constitution as a heterosexual union – and thereby reverse the 2009
Iowa Supreme Court ruling that brought gay marriage to the Midwest.
Gronstal has vowed to block the measure
from reaching the Senate floor.
But Republican Governor Terry
Branstad's appointment of Dandekar to the Iowa Utilities Board could
result in Democrats losing their one-seat Senate majority. And by
extension, stripping Gronstal of power. In previous sessions where
the Senate was divided, leaders from both parties took turns on
alternating weeks running the chamber.
In its mailer, NOM supports Republican
Cindy Golding, whom the group claims opposes marriage equality.
“The future of Iowa families in the
balance,” the mailer reads. In a bullet point, the mailer notes
that Mathis “Thinks Iowans have no right to vote on [the]
definition of marriage in Iowa.”
“This is a pivotal election contest
in our battle to allowing [sic] the people of Iowa the opportunity to vote
to restore marriage,” NOM President Brian Brown said in a
Both candidates, however, have
downplayed the issue.