Main | Thursday, January 17, 2008

Iowans Pray-Walk Against Gay Marriage

Several hundred Iowans gathered at their state capital yesterday in a "prayer walk" against gay marriage. The attendees are demanding that legislators launch an effort to amend the state constitution.
The issue of gay marriage gained attention last August when District Judge Robert Hanson ruled that Iowa's marriage law is unconstitutional. He ordered the Polk County recorder to permit same-sex couples to enter into civil marriages.

The decision has been appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court, which is where several key Democratic lawmakers say the battle should conclude before lawmakers consider tinkering with the state's constitution.

Many of the advocates of the amendment argue that measures to squelch same-sex marriage should begin immediately.

Amendments to the Iowa Constitution need to be approved by simple majorities in both the House and Senate in two consecutive general assemblies and then be approved by a simple majority of voters in the next general election. That means if a resolution is approved this year and in the 2009 or 2010 session, it can be on the general election ballot in November 2010. If lawmakers wait a year to start the process, the earliest a resolution could reach the ballot is 2012.

"It's a matter of preserving a culture and making sure that children have a healthy home to grow up in and they both have a mother and father," said Dave Barnett, a coordinator for the Iowa Family Policy Center. "We want to make sure that children have the best home to grow in."
The head of the Iowa Family Council says, "At its core, this is a battle of good versus evil, truth versus lies."

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