Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Iowa Marriage Amendment Lacks Support in Senate

In a show of loyalty to their party leadership Tuesday, two Democratic Iowa state senators refused to cross party lines to vote in favor of allowing a voter initiative to amend the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage, even though they personally believe that marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman.

The Des Moines Register reports:
A handful of Senate Democrats who would be the deciding votes on a same-sex marriage amendment said Tuesday they won't join minority Republicans to force a vote this year.

Barring a change of heart, that means the effort to allow a public vote on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is dead in the Iowa Legislature this session.

Some Democrats personally believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. But they refuse to override their majority leader, who has vowed to block a vote.
Iowa Senate republicans have vowed to continue fighting to force a vote by means of convoluted parliamentary maneuvers. Observers say there is little chance this will work.

Democrat Dennis Black of Grinnell said he supports marriage as one-man, one-woman, but he gained respect for the April 2009 decision by the Iowa Supreme Court that struck down the law banning same-sex marriage after he thoroughly read the ruling.
"When you can get seven justices, several of whom personally oppose same-sex marriage, to do the job they took an oath to do, they deserve applause vs. the hate and discontent," Black said.

During his re-election campaign last fall, Black made his support of the court ruling known to his constituents by making comments at public forums and in quotes published in newspapers.

Hancock said he's personally torn about same-sex marriage rights.

"I think freedom is freedom and equality is equality," Hancock said. But hundreds of e-mails and phone calls tell him the overwhelming majority of his constituents want a vote.

"I can see both sides of the argument," he said.
Iowa Senator Tom Reilly (D-Oscaloosa), a Catholic, who believes in traditional marriage, told the Register,
"But I'm not going to use that as a test to deny someone their civil rights. I've read the decision a couple dozen times, and I just for the life of me don't understand how anybody can say, 'This couple over here, you can enter into a civil contract to get health insurance, tax status, pension benefits, survivor benefits, end-of-life care. But you over here, because you're gay, you can't do that.'

"How is that not discriminatory?" 

Read the full story here.
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1 comment:

  1. It seems obvious that all possible energy should be towards repealing DOMA. The states are allowing the voters to amend constitutions with discrimination and hatred. NOM continues it's Catholic/Mormon funded wack-a-gay mission and we go up and down with every success or defeat. Since marriage involves many federal benefits, why are the states able to decide who gets those benfits? Enough. Call your senators and rep's in DC and tell them your sick of this injustice, and you want DOMA repealed !!


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