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Dueling Marriage Rallies Held in Iowa

Dueling Marriage Rallies Held in Iowa

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Advocates and opponents of marriage equality held separate rallies Sunday in Iowa ahead of the November elections, which could bring a showdown on same-sex marriage.

According to the Sioux City Journal, Mari Culver, the wife of Gov. Chet Culver, spoke to about 300 people in Des Moines, where she made her first public remarks in defense of the marriage equality decision by the state supreme court last year. Governor Culver, a Democrat, is up for reelection this fall.

"The first lady stressed she was speaking for herself as a private citizen at Sunday's event on a topic that she expected would be 'a defining issue' in Iowa's Nov. 2 general election," reported the Journal. "However, she urged the One Iowa 'stand proud, vote proud' rally participants to 'get energized' because 'there are those out there who would move further and further to the right in order to appeal to the right-wing of their party' - a not-so-veiled reference to former Gov. Terry Branstad, the Republican challenging her husband, Democratic Gov. Chet Culver this November."

Hours earlier in Des Moines, Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, stopped outside the Capitol and spoke to about 100 people, the Journal reported. He said that NOM expected to contribute money to individual candidates and to finance advertisements calling for a vote on amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

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