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Iowa Poll: 62 percent say gay marriage shouldn’t be an issue this year
More than 60 percent of Iowans surveyed in the latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll say lawmakers have more important things to worry about than same-sex marriage.
The poll, with a margin of error of 3.5 percent, found Iowans are more interested in a ban on text messaging while driving than on overturning the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision last April legalizing gay marriage.
From the Register:
House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, gave this take on the results: “I think of that collection of topics, they’re clearly interested in government sticking to its core business, which is public safety.”
Regulation of texting and driving deserves lawmakers’ time, 72 percent of respondents said. The topic least worthy of debate: gay marriage. Only 36 percent of Iowans want lawmakers to focus efforts on the issue.
But Paulsen later returned to the topic of same-sex marriage, blaming poll results on a public relations push that has convinced people that a ban is “something that takes a lengthy period of time,” Paulsen said. “There’s no reason it should have to take more than 30 minutes.”
Opponents of same-sex marriage are expected to begin pushing a constitutional amendment overturning the court’s ruling Monday. One Iowa, the state’s largest gay-rights organization, began warning supporters last week that House Republicans were planning to invoke House Rule 60, which would allow for a bill to be brought to the full House floor without being passed through committee.
The procedural move is seen as necessary following promises by Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate that gay marriage would not be discussed during the 2010 session. Democrats currently hold a 56-44 advantage in the House and a 32-18 advantage in the Senate.
Friday marks the first self-imposed deadline for bills to clear a committee to stay eligible for consideration this year.