For two years, Senate President Mike Gronstal has blocked every attempt to bring the marriage amendment to a vote in the Senate. The amendment already passed the House last year, the first of four legislative votes required before going to the ballot to be ratified by voters.Keep in mind that the weather is supposed to be nasty tomorrow, which makes me happy. But I digress...
Now it's time for the Senate!
Over the next few weeks, every state senator needs to hear from his constituents demanding the right to vote on marriage. And there's no better way to deliver that message loud and clear than with a strong showing in person next Tuesday morning.
Fortunately for Iowa, Senate President Mike Gronstal is preventing this issue from being debated in the Iowa Senate. This is why:
"We never put people's constitutional rights to a vote for the people of state. I don't think the Constitution is a place to insert discrimination. I think it's a document designed to guarantee people's rights, not to take them away from them."
In Gronstal, gay Iowans have a brick wall between them and the National Organization for Marriage carpetbaggers who will swoop into Des Moines next Tuesday from their East Coast aerie, looking for an issue to exploit and an opportunity to deny civil marriage to gay Iowans — along with domestic partnerships and civil unions — two things they never talk about.One certainly hopes that BVP and NOM underestimate Iowans' desire to vote out Gronstal over the issue of marriage equality. Setting aside the marriage issue, Iowa is a couple Senate seats from passing some really crazy pro-gun, anti-labor, anti-abortion, and anti-education bills. I'm not saying that the Democratic Party has all the right answers, but I do believe that we do best as a state when both parties share power. It encourages saner laws and that's good for all of us.
In Gronstal, straight Iowans (especially moderate Republicans) have a fantastically knowledgeable senator who remains a bulwark against the destructive ideological excesses of the more reckless members of their party.
Either group would be foolish to turn Granstal out; our guess is that Vander Plaats and NOM underestimate the ability of most Council Bluffs voters to see through their game.
Anyway, if you live in Iowa, give your local Senator a call and thank her or him for supporting marriage equality and if s/he disagrees with marriage equality for all, then give him or her an earful of reasons for why s/he should change her or his mind on this issue.