Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Efforts to Constitutionally Ban Gay Marriage in Iowa Effectively Defeated this Year

A handful of Republican legislators in the Iowa House and Senate went through the motions to constitutionally ban gay marriage (here, here, and here) -- despite the fact that Iowa has been a marriage equality state for nearly six years and despite the fact that there have been few actual problems because of our status as a marriage equality state.

It's been questionable whether or not this was going to go anywhere. Something like 21 legislators from both the House and Senate put their names behind this latest effort and the Democratic Party controls our Senate, which means that it was never going to get past Senate Majority Leader Gronstal. But that hasn't stopped the Iowa House from trying out these anti-gay constitutional amendments before.

Looks like the efforts to kill gay marriage in Iowa died a quiet death:
Following up on this post from last month, the latest version of a state constitutional amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman in Iowa is dead for this legislative session. House Joint Resolution 4 didn't make it so far as a subcommittee hearing, let alone passage by a full committee before the "funnel" deadline late last week. 

Iowa House Judiciary Committee Chair Chip Baltimore never assigned the bill to any subcommittee. When I asked him about the status of the bill on February 24 (a month after the bill was introduced), Baltimore's response was telling. (Jon's note: Follow link to review Twitter screen grab.)

He was alluding to Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen's extraordinary personal intervention to make sure a bill raising the state gasoline tax made it through the Iowa House Ways and Means Committee, against the wishes of that committee's chairman

Long gone are the days when Paulsen pledged to move a marriage amendment through the Iowa House and did so quickly, putting the ball in the Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate's court. This year, only one person on the eight-member Iowa House GOP leadership team even co-sponsored the marriage amendment (Speaker Pro Tem Matt Windschitl). 
It's possible that the gay marriage ban will suddenly move forward this year, but highly unlikely. In other words, stick a fork in it!

1 comment:

Katy Anders said...

That's great news. There seem to be a lot more steps forwards than steps backwards these days...