Democrat and Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch (pictured) is running for governor, and he's warning voters that this year's state election could be crucial for gay marriage.
The GOP is poised to take control of the state's government; the party currently controls the House, and things look good for a Republican-led upset in the Senate — the Democrats currently have majority by a thin margin of 26-24.
Further, the Des Moines Register speculates that Senator Hatch defeating sitting Republican Governor Terry Branstad would be an "uphill battle."
Hatch emphasizes that if House, Senate, and Governorship go red on November 4, things could get complicated for Iowa's same-sex married couples. Says Hatch:
It is very clear [getting rid of same-sex marriage] will be [Republicans'] No. 1 priority and Iowans should be very skeptical of that…People who believe in marriage equality should realize the rights we have in Iowa are only as good as the quality of our politicians and the words of our Constitution. If they want to change the words of our Constitution, we should be very scared of the agenda of the Republican leadership.
Gay marriage in Iowa was legalized by a unanimous State Supreme Court vote, but the decision could be effectively reversed via amendment to the Iowa constitution, as Hatch says. An amendment first must pass simple majority votes in the House and Senate for two consecutive general assemblies. Then, if this happens, the amendment goes out to the citizens for a vote, and it becomes law if it gets approval from a simple majority of voters.
As Hatch points out, with regard to gay marriage, this year's election is a tight and crucial one.