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Top Dems appear to close door on possible constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, and House Speaker Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, praised the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision today legalizing same-sex marriage, saying the only lasting question is “why it took us so long.”
“It is a tough question to answer because treating everyone fairly is really a matter of Iowa common sense and Iowa common decency,” the Democrats said in a joint statement, alluding to Gov. Chet Culver’s 2006 campaign slogan, “Iowa Common Values, Iowa Common Sense.”
With same-sex marriage opponents demanding the legislature act to nullify the Court’s decision, Gronstal and Murphy’s unconditional praise of the ruling seems to indicate there will be no rush by Democratic leadership to make the decision an issue before the General Assembly. Both Democrats and Republicans said Thursday that they had doubts the legislature would take up the issue this session.
Here is the full text of their joint statement:
“Thanks to today’s decision, Iowa continues to be a leader in guaranteeing all of our citizens’ equal rights.
“The court has ruled today that when two Iowans promise to share their lives together, state law will respect that commitment, regardless of whether the couple is gay or straight.
“When all is said and done, we believe the only lasting question about today’s events will be why it took us so long. It is a tough question to answer because treating everyone fairly is really a matter of Iowa common sense and Iowa common decency.
“Today, the Iowa Supreme Court has reaffirmed those Iowa values by ruling that gay and lesbian Iowans have all the same rights and responsibilities of citizenship as any other Iowan.
“Iowa has always been a leader in the area of civil rights.
“In 1839, the Iowa Supreme Court rejected slavery in a decision that found that a slave named Ralph became free when he stepped on Iowa soil, 26 years before the end of the Civil War decided the issue.
“In 1868, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that racially segregated “separate but equal” schools had no place in Iowa, 85 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.
“In 1873, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against racial discrimination in public accommodations, 91 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.
“In 1869, Iowa became the first state in the union to admit women to the practice of law.
“In the case of recognizing loving relationships between two adults, the Iowa Supreme Court is once again taking a leadership position on civil rights.
“Today, we congratulate the thousands of Iowans who now can express their love for each other and have it recognized by our laws.”