February 2, 2011 at 9:43 am EST | by Staff reports
Iowa House advances constitutional amendment

DES MOINES — Three Democrats joined 59 Republicans in the Iowa House Tuesday to pass a resolution on gay marriage, several media outlets reported.

The proposed constitutional amendment would ban same-sex marriages, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Representative Dwayne Alons, a Republican from Hull, said Iowa should join the states that have passed similar restrictions.

Rep. Greg Forristall, a Republican from Macedonia, said since the legislature and the Supreme Court disagree on the proper definition of marriage, Iowa voters should decide the matter. The resolution would have to be approved by the current Legislature and the one to be elected next year to get onto the ballot.

It’s aimed at overturning a 2009 Iowa Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage. Three of the justices involved in that decision were voted out of office during the November election. With Republicans controlling the House 60-40, the outcome of Tuesday’s vote was never in doubt. The resolution passed 62-37. Three Democrats joined 59 Republicans in backing the measure, and all 37 votes against were Democrats.

  • Why are you dudes against marriage? Get a life; it’s the 21st century.
    I’ve been with my spouse for 32 years.

    Onward to full marriage equality rights now!
    Cheers, Joe Mustich, Officiant,
    Red Studio Farm, Washington Green, CT USA.

  • Damn fools. They think they can defy the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by passing an amendment to the Iowa Constitution banning same-gender marriage. They haven’t learned from recent history.

    They’ve obviously forgotten the 1996 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Romer v. Evans) that declared that states cannot single out gay and lesbians Americans for exclusion from rights and privileges guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution that all other Americans take for granted.

    This was the ruling that struck down Colorado’s voter-approved state constitutional amendment that struck down all state and local laws that banned anti-gay discrimination and barred the Colorado Legislature and all county and municipal governments in the state from enacting any new ones.

    What are the Republicans in the Iowa Legislature going to say and do if the U.S. Supreme Court declares California’s Proposition 8, the federal Defense of Marriage Act and, effectively, all other laws that bar gay and lesbian couples from marrying unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment?

    • They must know on some level that they are on the wrong side of history. I have heard some anti-freedom conservatives even admit as much in their more candid moments. It appears that they are doing what they can, while they can, to pander to their base.

  • Really? The Fourteenth Amendment demands Gay Marriage? Wouldn’t the legislators of 1865 be surprised!

    Evidently it is forgotten that the Supreme Court can only hear what Congress permits it to hear. (See Article III Section II Judicial Stripping) and that further, the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution, from which the suits would derive their basis, has an exception for any item that Congress excepts. The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 is just such an exception.

    It is also forgotten that in this country, at least, the people must be convinced of the rightness of a course of action or it does not take place. In New England and New York the people evidently are willing to undertake the experiment. Iowa also needs its chance at the polls. Mark my words, this is an experiment. 2003 is when the first state legalized Gay Marriage in the United States. It is not certain whether the imposition of Gay Marriage will harm Heterosexual Marriage, whether it will lead to the legalization of polygamy or whether it will in fact strengthen the institution. The matter is blank.

    If rights have any meaning, it must mean the right to live under the laws that the people wish to enact. I can not blame Iowa if they don’t want to be at the forefront of a grand sociological experiment.

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