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Iowa Candidate Going After Governor Who Respected High Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats announced his decision to challenge Iowa Governor Chet Culver in the 2010 election. He also wants to rid the state of marriage equality:

Vanderplaats "Vander Plaats, 46, ran for governor in 2002 and lost in the primary and ran in 2006 before being chosen as Jim Nussle's running mate. They lost to Chet Culver and Patty Judge. He said Tuesday that this time feels like a new beginning and he's going after Chet Culver's base.Vander Plaats said he wants to make his position clear on a couple of issues.He said he wants to issue an executive order, put the gay marriage issue in the hands of the legislature and the voters of Iowa."

At a press conference yesterday, Vander Plaats pledged to sign an executive order on his first day in office to stay future same-sex marriages until Iowans have an opportunity to vote in a statewide referendum on the definition of marriage. You may remember that Vander Plaats was vocal after the state's Supreme Court decision striking down the same-sex marriage ban:

"At the rain-drenched rally, Republican candidate for governor Bob Vander Plaats demanded Culver immediately intervene rather than wait as gay-marriage opponents work to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot."

No doubt the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) plans to get behind this guy, as they've begun meddling in Iowa's elections already.

Iowa Governor Will Respect Supreme Court on Same-Sex Marriage

Iowa Governor Chet Culver is not inclined to support amending the state's constitution to reverse the Supreme Court's unanimous decision striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Culver made his opinion known in a lengthy statement released late yesterday. Culver was under pressure from religious right conservatives like Chuck Hurley of the Iowa Family Policy Council to support efforts and had not weighed in on the issue days after the decision was handed down.

Culver KSDK reports: "Culver made his statement hours after a Republican candidate for governor, Bob Vander Plaats, criticized the governor for not being more clear about where he stood on the gay marriage ruling."

In the past, Culver has expressed his personal opposition to same-sex marriage but indicated that he was waiting to hear from the Court before taking a political stand.

Said Culver, in his statement: "As Governor, I must respect the authority of the Iowa Supreme Court, and have a duty to uphold the Constitution of the State of Iowa. I also fully respect the right of all Iowans to live under the full protection of Iowa’s Constitution. I urge Iowans who hold beliefs on all sides of this issue to exhibit respect and good will. Our state faces many serious challenges. We are in the midst of a serious economic recession. Tens of thousands of our fellow Iowans are without work. We have suffered the worst natural disasters and most difficult recovery our state has ever faced. We must join together and redouble our efforts to work toward solutions that will help Iowans in this time of uncertainty. That is where, I believe, my focus and energies should lie."

King Rep. Steve King (R-Kiron), who you may remember issued a panicked statement that Iowa would become the 'gay marriage Mecca" shortly after the ruling, said he was considering a run for governor because of it. Said King to the Des Moines Register before Culver released his statement: "I'd rather work with Gov. Culver on saving marriage than use it as a lever against him." Culver is seeking reelection in 2010.

Gays and lesbians will be able to begin marrying their partners in the state on April 27.

Read Chet Culver's full (and I believe, quite well put) statement, AFTER THE JUMP...

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