The Chicago Tribune reports that Republican lawmakers failed on Tuesday to garner enough support to bring a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage to the floor of the Iowa legislature, both houses of which are controlled by Democrats. The failure of a procedural move to force the measure out of committee means that voters will likely not confront the issue until 2014.
Senate minority leader Paul McKinley implied that Republicans would be using this vote against Democrats in upcoming elections, saying "Voters this November will have an opportunity to decide if they are content with the continued Democratic obstruction and inaction."
House minority leader Kraig Paulsen said that "there are a lot of folks out there who say they support traditional marriage. This is an opportunity to back them up." He has previously conceded that voters are "clearly interested in government sticking to its core business, which is public safety."
House majority leader Kevin McCarthy declared, "We're not going to get bogged down this session with divisive social issues." Indeed, recent polls have indicated that gay marriage is of low priority to Iowa voters.
The Republican-backed amendment, if approved in two consecutive legislative sessions and then by voters, would negate last year's Iowa supreme court ruling that denying marriage rights to gay couples was unconstitutional.