Iowa state senate majority leader Mike Gronstal will not allow a vote on gay marriage when the new legislature
convenes January 10, the Associated Press reports.
Gronstal has been attacked by antigay activists in recent days for blocking a state senate vote that would allow the issue to be decided by Iowa voters. Last year the Iowa supreme court, in a unanimous vote, struck down state law banning marriage rights for same-sex couples as unconstitutional.
"The will of the people has fallen on deaf ears for too long,
and they want to see leadership on a constitutional marriage
amendment," said Bob Vander Plaats, a failed 2010 Iowa gubernatorial candidate. Vander Plaats led the campaign to oust three state supreme court justices who lost their retention elections last week.
Last week Gronstal toldThe Advocate that the push to roll back marriage equality in Iowa -- the only Midwestern state that grants marriage rights to gay couples -- is an "anachronism."
"I'm not going to
insert discrimination into the constitution of Iowa," said Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs. "It's as simple as
that. My father taught me, and his father taught him, that everyone's
equal before the law."
For a constitutional amendment to be passed in
Iowa, both the state house and senate have to approve the measure by a
simple majority in two consecutive general assemblies, followed by a
simple majority of voters.