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04/19/2007


Iowa Senator Mike Gronstal Says He'll Continue to Oppose Those Who Want to Do Away with Marriage Equality

Iowa state Senate Democratic Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, who has been steadfast in his opposition to bills that would block same-sex marriage in the state, reiterated his position this week in an interview with Iowa Press.

GronstalSaid Gronstal:

"People's rights should not be put to a popular vote.  If I can put, if you can put my rights to a popular vote of the people then I can put your rights to a popular vote of the people and eventually, and eventually -- well, we didn’t put slavery to a vote of the people in Iowa, we didn't put the right to go to a school in your neighborhood to a vote of the people of Iowa, we didn't put public accommodations law to a vote of the people in Iowa.  The Supreme Court said certain inalienable rights -- you either -- when you say the Pledge of Allegiance, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all, you don't say for all except for gay people, you don't say that.  That is what this is about and you don't put ... you don't put that up to a vote of the people ..."

(via otm)


Same-Sex Marriage in Iowa Threatened by Governor's Appointment

Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad (pictured) has threatened the state's Democratic majority in the Senate by appointing Sen. Swati Dandekar to the Iowa Utilities Board, the Des Moines Register reports:

Branstad The special election to fill the seat being vacated by Sen. Swati Dandekar of Marion is in a district that has more Republican registered voters than Democrats.

If Republicans win, the 50-seat Senate in 2012 will be evenly split.

That would give the GOP a far better chance to push ahead on a handful of issues that have been blocked in the Senate such as a proposal to amend the state constitution and eliminate marriage rights for same-sex couples, members of both parties agreed.

The special election is set for November 8.

The paper adds:

Just hours after the news broke, Democrats launched a website: KeepTheMajority.com.

“This election will be a clear choice between what voters in the district want: someone who will stand up and support them in the Iowa Senate, or someone who will pursue a divisive agenda like Iowa Republicans chose to during the last session,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky said. “We’re confident that Iowans will vote for real leadership and choose to maintain Democratic control of this seat.”

In the past, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has vowed to block any attempts to bring up an anti-gay amendment. Without a majority, he'll have a much harder time doing that. No doubt The Family Leader's Bob Vander Plaats is licking his chops.


Iowa Senator Gronstal Vows to Block Vote on Marriage Amendment

Gronstal

The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa senate Democrat Mike Gronstal has vowed to block any vote on an amendment to the state's constitution that would ban same-sex marriage:

Republicans will occupy the governor's office and will control the Iowa House next year, and there's a chance that final results could give Republicans a 25-25 deadlock in the Iowa Senate.

But Senate Democrats will maintain at least equal power — which will give Majority Leader Mike Gronstal authority to prevent a vote on a marriage amendment to the state constitution.

"There's no mechanism whereby senators, even a majority of senators, can override the majority leader," according to Secretary of the Senate Mike Marshall, a staffer who ensures rules are followed.

Senate Republicans intend to try various maneuvers to force a vote, even though they don't believe such efforts will succeed. Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley, R-Chariton, hopes public pressure might eventually compel Gronstal to allow a vote, but Gronstal said Wednesday that will never happen.

*****

Gronstal believes the right thing means protecting the civil rights of gays and lesbians. He reaffirmed Wednesday that he won't bow to pressure, no matter how nasty it gets.

"The easy political thing for me to do years ago would have been to say, 'Oh, let's let this thing go. It's just too political and too messy,' " Gronstal said. "What's ugly is giving up what you believe in, that everybody has the same rights. Giving up on that? That's ugly."

In April, Gronstal gave a beautiful speech on the topic. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Iowa Senator Gronstal Vows to Block Vote on Marriage Amendment" »


IA Sen. Gronstal: 'You Guys Don't Understand. You've Already Lost.'

Gronstal

Here's a good summation of what's going on in Iowa with regard to pushback against the same-sex marriage ruling, and how difficult it's going to be for foes like Chuck Hurley and IA Rep. Steve King to turn back the ruling.

However, the right wing is pushing for a Constitutional Convention. Iowa Governor Chet Culver still has not weighed in.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal put his foot down in debate yesterday afternoon with Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley, who accused Gronstal of "pure obstruction" after Gronstal said he "has no intention of taking up" a debate on amending the state's constitution.

Gronstal's response is one of the most beautiful speeches I've heard all year.

Listen to it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "IA Sen. Gronstal: 'You Guys Don't Understand. You've Already Lost.'" »


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