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Rants tacks same-sex marriage ban onto tax bill
Republican state Rep. Christopher Rants will once again attempt to force a vote on a same-sex marriage ban Tuesday, this time by attaching it to a Democratic tax bill.
Last week Rants tried to attach a Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to the state’s Health and Human Services budget, but the move was ruled out of order.
This time, Rants is trying to insert language defining a married couple as “a man and a woman” for the purposes of the state’s tax code into House File 807, a tax reform bill that ends Iowans ability to deduct their federal taxes on state returns and uses those funds to lower the overall tax rate.
“I’m not a big fan of HF 807, and I’m not a fan of the [Supreme] Court’s decision – so I’ve tried to marry the two issues together in hopes of either stopping the former, or getting around the latter,” Rants wrote on his blog Monday, later adding: “For the last several weeks, I’ve been dreading the day Speaker [Pat] Murphy brings HF 807 to the floor. Now I actually hope that they do. I look forward to the debate.”
The change to Iowa’s tax code would almost certainly be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, since it flies in the face of the court’s April 3 ruling in Varnum v. Brien, which said the state’s laws cannot treat same-sex couples different from opposite-sex couples for the purposes of marriage.
But, while it may not change the ruling, if Democratic leadership is not able to rule the move out of order, it could either force a straight up or down vote on the language of the amendment — effectively forcing a direct vote on whether marriage should be defined as a union between one man and one woman — or kill the tax bill.
Debate on the tax bill is expected Tuesday or Wednesday.