Iowa conservatives are trying to find a creative way to force a vote on a marriage amendment to the Iowa Constitution before the legislative session concludes, which could now come at any time. Others, including WHO Radio talk show host Steve Deace, don’t think that the Republicans in the Senate have done all they can since they have not made a motion to suspend the Senate rules and force the Democrats’ hand.
State Senator Merlin Bartz and the Iowa Family Policy Center are encouraging county recorders not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday when the Supreme Court opinion become effective on Monday. The Alliance Defense Fund, a group of Christian attorneys, has even told county recorders that it will provide free legal review and defense to those recorders who consciously object to same-sex marriages.
Additionally, Bob Vander Plaats, a Republican candidate for Governor, has written a proposed executive order that would halt same-sex marriages in Iowa until the people have an opportunity to vote on the matter. Vander Plaats is encouraging the current Governor of Iowa, Chet Culver to sign it.
Meanwhile, gay rights activists quietly continue to implement the campaign plan that they have been working on in Iowa for more than seven years. With Governor Culver’s acceptance of the Iowa Supreme Court’s April 3rd decision, and Speaker Murphy and Senate Majority Leader Gronstal’s obstructionist behavior toward a constitutional amendment . These activists can now focus on just one simple but important thing, making non-homosexuals accept same-sex marriage.
Just this week the group One Iowa, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization began to run the following TV ad around the state.
The ad is professionally produced and well made. The TV ad makes the case that the Court’s decision was about eliminating discrimination and providing fairness to all Iowans. The ad goes on to say that that religious marriage will not be affected. It also calls the people pushing for a marriage amendment, “Outsiders who want to put discrimination into the Constitution.”
Iowa conservatives have their work cut out for them. We absolutely need to pass a marriage amendment, and we can never let up on that effort, but we also need to be communicating with regular Iowans about why we need to pass the amendment.
Some conservatives fear that in the 20 days since the Supreme Court issues its opinion, the movement still lacks a cohesive approach to winning the war that has been waged against traditional marriage in Iowa. One Iowa’s new TV ad, while good, does not signal that the end is near for Iowans who want the right to vote on traditional marriage. What is does do, however, is remind us that the battlefield is not limited only to Des Moines or political activists.
We must make our case to the people of Iowa.
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