Gay Marriage Defended, Attacked During Iowa Gov. Debate

Branstad Iowa Gov. Chet Culver stood up for his his state's gay marriage law during a debate with Republican rival Terry Branstad last night.

Asked whether same-sex nuptials have had an impact on the state, Culver insisted, "It has not had an effect on the state of Iowa, other than allowing people to make their own decisions." He added, "We should not write discrimination into the Iowa Constitution."

Republican Terry Branstad, not surprisingly, disagreed, and insisted that Iowa voters should be given a vote on a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay love, which was approved by the state's Supreme Court in 2009: “The people of Iowa are the ones that should have the final say on this,” proclaimed Branstad, pictured here. “They should be given the same opportunity as 31 other states and every state from Maine to California where it’s been on the ballot, the people have voted for it."

Culver brushed off Branstad's remarks, saying, quite rightly, "We need to move on. We need to move forward. We do not need to add discrimination to our constitution, something that would only take us backwards on civil rights."

On a related note, Culver, who's trailing in the polls, will attend a dinner tonight for the Fairness Fund, which backs LGBT candidates.


  1. says

    actually it possibly has had an affect

    the rate of divorce in iowa post allowing gay marriage is lower than it was pre allowing gay marriage

    positive coincidence or has it motivated heterosexuals to take their own marriages more seriously and value them more thanx to gays in Iowa sanctifying marriage?

  2. says

    Andrew, is it really so difficult to say “Marriage Equality Defended” in your headline rather than “Gay Marriage Defended”? (And a voter-approved constitutional amendment would not “prohibit gay love”; it would write discrimination into the constitution by subjecting civil rights to the whims of voters.) There is no gay marriage in IA, or any other state, there is marriage equality: one civil institution for gay and straight couples alike. The way we frame marriage equality matters. Culver was defending the IA Supreme Court decision that unanimously upheld the ruling declaring that the state has no interest in denying citizens the right to marry based on their sexual orientation.

  3. Steve says

    Gay Love – ooooooh, sounds dangerous.

    When will these morons realize that equal rights is not about majority rule? Equal rights legislation is to protect minorities.

  4. Bart says

    I think Terry Branstad should take it a step further and that EVERY marriage in Iowa should be voted on. Individually. Once a year they list all the people that want to be married and have a special election to see if any of them get a majority vote to be married.

    That’ll level the playing field.

  5. Patric says

    Excellent point, Ernie. You are absolutely correct that there is no such thing as “gay marriage” any more than there is “blonde marriage” or “fat marriage” or “Swedish marriage”. There is one institution of marriage and it is an institution to which the civil laws of our country presently deny us access. Absolutely correct that messaging matters. The haters prefer use of the label “gay marriage” (always with the quotes) to imply its illegitimate nature. We win when we focus people’s attention on equality.

    LincolnLounger, must say I’m stunned that you’re not leaping in to say what a wonderful thing it will be to have Branstad back as Governor. It’s sad that Governor Culver in all likelihood will lose this race and even sadder still, when the Republican Party is dominated by the likes of Branstad and Coburn and DeMint and Angle and Toomey and Bachmann, etc., etc., etc., that we have to read LCR types shilling for them every day on this and other sites.

  6. BobN says

    “The people of Iowa are the ones that should have the final say on this,”

    Uh… the people of Iowa have spoken. It’s called the Equal Protection clause of the state constitution.

  7. says

    “Oh geez please let the guy use whichever words he wants to…”

    @JOHN NORMILE: Everyone is welcome to use whatever words they want, but there are accurate words that help win our civil rights and there are inaccurate ones that work against us. Our choice. But too often the words used by well-meaning gay people are the same ones selected by our opponents, who choose carefully. We can choose carefully, too.

    I live in a state where there is marriage equality (not gay marriage), in part because our Freedom to Marry organization never failed to make our arguments with the best words. We learned by experience.

  8. says

    When are these theotards going to get it that whenever there is marriage equality on this continent, the effect on “traditional” (opposite-sex) marriage is only neutral-to-positive?

    Really! Someone should come up with a campaign slogan the next time there;s a referendum on OUR RIGHT TO MARRY:

    “Protect Traditional Marriage.
    “Protect Marriage Equality.”

    Cause they are NOT mutually exclusive, they go TOGETHER. You can’t protect one without the other, Religious Right Retards!