Senate Democrats standing firm in Iowa

Iowa’s House GOPers took the first step towards stripping marriage rights away from the state’s citizens yesterday. But, the anti-gay resolution has to pass in the State Senate this year, then pass both houses in the next session of the legislature. The Senate Majority Leader, Mike Gronstal, won’t call the resolution up for a vote. The Democrats control the Senate by a 26 – 24 margin. Gronstal’s Democratic caucus colleauges, even opponents of same-sex marriage, are sticking with him:

Some Democrats personally believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. But they refuse to override their majority leader, who has vowed to block a vote.

A least two Democratic senators said Tuesday that if a same-sex marriage constitutional amendment ever were to come to a vote of the full chamber, they’d likely vote “yes” – enough for a majority. They are Tom Hancock of Epworth and Jack Kibbie of Emmetsburg, the Senate president.

Both back marriage between one man and one woman. They see allowing Iowans to vote on same-sex marriage as casting an individual vote of conscience. But they won’t usurp the authority of Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs.

Republican senators vow to keep pursuing parliamentary maneuvers to force a vote.

Senators of both parties agreed in interviews Tuesday that the sole authority to call such legislation for a vote lies with Gronstal, who said he won’t budge on his refusal to do so.

Iowa Republicans are obsessed, just obsessed, with this marriage issue.

One Iowa is leading the opposition for our side.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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