Iowa Governor Won’t Comment on Reach of Gay Marriage Ban as House Prepares for Public Hearing

The Iowa House is holding a hearing on a proposed ban on same-sex marriage this event, and Iowa governor Terry Branstad won't say if he thinks the ban, which he believes voters should get a chance to weigh in on, goes too far in also banning civil unions and domestic partnerships.

The Iowa Independent reports: Branstad

“I think the people of Iowa would appreciate and feel strongly that they should be given the opportunity to vote,” Branstad said in a news conference with Statehouse reporters in response to a question from The Iowa Independent. He said whether the proposal goes too far is a matter for the legislature to sort out and not an issue that falls under the purview of the governor.

“That’s a legislative issue,” Branstad said. “What the people of Iowa want is an opportunity to vote on marriage defined as one man and one woman.”

Monday night’s two-hour hearing on House Joint Resolution 6 begins at 6:30 in the Iowa House chambers. Dozens of Iowans are scheduled to speak for and against the proposed amendment, which would have to pass both the House and the Senate in two consecutive general assemblies before going to a public vote. The proposed resolution faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Council Bluffs Democrat, has vowed to block it.

Says Joint Resolution 6: “Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state."


  1. says

    Civil rights are not an appropriate issue to be decided by popular vote. Period.

    Marriage is a civil right, as has been demonstrated many times.

    I doubt that the pragmatic and fair-minded Iowans (and in my experience, most really are) would allow THEIR civil rights to be subject to the whim of the majority.

  2. yonkersconquers says

    I want to ban Republican governors (and Iowans generally) from ruling on issues that don’t directly affect them.

    Shall we get that ball rolling too? What and who would you like to ban?

  3. I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff says

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not adhering to the literal wording.

    “Law” originally referred to legislative statute, but in the idiom may refer to any kind of rule. Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language. Following the letter of the law but not the spirit is also a tactic used by oppressive governments.

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