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Harkin Backs Gronstal in Iowa Marriage Showdown

Harkin Backs Gronstal in Iowa Marriage Showdown

Tomharkin

US. senator Tom Harkin of Iowa expressed his full support for state senate majority leader Mike Gronstal, who is blocking a vote on a constitutional amendment against marriage equality, while the federal lawmaker also said his own thinking on marriage has "evolved."

According to the Quad City Times, Harkin spoke Thursday about his fellow Democrat, a 2012 target of conservatives for his refusal to allow a vote in his chamber on a measure that would repeal the unanimous 2009 state supreme court ruling for marriage equality. Harkin previously said he would vote against such an amendment.

"Mike Gronstal is one of the finest public servants I've ever met in my life," said Harkin. "I will do everything in my power to back him up. He's right on the mark on this issue."

During the conference call with reporters, Harkin, who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, also said his own thinking on marriage has "evolved." President Barack Obama uses the same word to describe his current stance.

According to The Des Moines Register, "He said he has concluded that marriage consists of two things: a religious-based commitment and a civil agreement recognized by states.

Harkin said, "I don't think there should be discrimination about who is able to establish relationships like that in a contractual marriage, in a civil marriage. But churches, on the other hand, if a religion finds this to be anathema ... then they don't have to do that. .. I would protect their right to not to have to do that, but it shouldn't spill over into the civil part of it at all," the Register reported.

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