ranging from prayer rallies to political advocacy, Iowa
churches are at the forefront of an escalating fight over a
county judge's ruling that overturned the state's
same-sex marriage ban.
people from local churches joined hands and sang the civil
rights anthem ''We Shall Overcome'' at a recent rally in Des
Moines urging the Iowa supreme court to reverse the
''This is more
than a political battle,'' said the Reverend Keith A.
Ratliff Sr. of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church.
''This is a spiritual battle.''
district judge Robert Hanson ruled on August 31 that a state
law defining marriage as only between a man and woman was
unconstitutional and ordered the Polk County recorder to
allow same-sex couples to marry.
The next day,
Hanson stayed his ruling while the case is appealed to the
state supreme court, which could take two years. Only one
couple was able to marry -- the ceremony was performed
in a Unitarian pastor's front yard -- before Hanson
suspended his ruling.
The state's four
Roman Catholic dioceses, meantime, are calling for a
different fix -- a constitutional amendment that would
define marriage as solely between a man and a woman.
between a man and a woman is a good from the perspectives of
both natural law and our Catholic faith,'' according to a
statement from the Iowa Catholic Conference. ''Society
has chosen to protect and promote marriage because of
its unique contribution to the common good.''
lawmakers have renewed their call for a marriage amendment.
Gov. Chet Culver and other Democrats say the state should
wait for the Iowa supreme court to rule. (AP)