Trying to force vote on gay marriage ban, Iowan GOPs rebuffed
Chicago Tribune, 2-10-2010At issue are resolutions calling for a vote to amend the Iowa Constitution, overturning an Iowa Supreme Court decision last April that struck down a state law banning gay marriage. Amending the constitution is a lengthy process requiring approval in two consecutive General Assemblies before a proposed amendment can go before voters.
In Iowa yesterday GOP members of the state house and senate failed in their attempt to force through a procedural committee vote on a ballot measure which would make gay marriage illegal in Iowa once again if passed.
There is also talk of amending the state constitution to define marriage as "one man, one woman" in the state.
A piece in the Chicago Tribune states that some GOP members are so determined to repeal gay marriage - as was done this past November in Maine with referendum Question One - that if a ballot measure cannot be addressed, a constitutional amendment will garner great GOP support.
DES MOINES, Iowa - Republicans failed on Tuesday in their effort to start the process of amending the Iowa Constitution to ban gay marriage -- meaning it will likely be 2014 at the earliest before voters could decide on the issue.
The Republican lawmakers tried procedural moves to pull measures out of committees and force a vote, but they couldn't get enough votes in either the House or Senate.
"There are a lot of folks out there who say they support traditional marriage," said House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, "This is an opportunity to back that up."
Democrats, who hold majorities in both chambers, responded that lawmakers have their hands full with budget problems and don't have time for a gay marriage debate.
"We're not going to get bogged down this session with divisive social issues," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Des Moines.
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If the measure isn't approved during the current legislative session, its next chance would be getting approved in the Legislature elected in November and then the one elected in November 2012. That means the 2014 general election is the earliest that voters could be asked if they want to amend the constitution.