Bills to outlaw same-sex marriage and change the Iowa Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman have been introduced by Republicans.
The Democrats in Iowa have their own bill that would make the law consistent with the 2009 ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage there. The legislative “funnel” ends this Friday, so none of those bills will likely get a hearing before a committee.
House Speaker Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) predicted that none of the proposed measures would be taken up by the chamber.
Exactly How Would The Proposed Iowa Legislation To Outlaw Same-Sex Marriage Operate?
Eight Republican members of the Iowa House are behind House Joint Resolution 8, which would add a definition of marriage to the state’s constitution. There would be language to the effect that “in accordance with the laws of nature and nature’s God, the state of Iowa recognizes the definition of marriage as the solemn union between one human biological male and one human biological female.”
In order to be placed on the statewide ballot for an up or down vote in the state of Iowa, proposed amendments to the Iowa Constitution must be approved in two consecutive sessions of the Iowa Legislature, with an election in between.
House File 508, which is cosponsored by eight Republicans, would declare that marriage in Iowa is “a sacred religious sacrament,” and that no Iowa resident may be forced to acknowledge the validity of a marriage between people of different sexual orientations.
It would make clear that Iowa believes certain provisions of the federal Respect for Marriage Act to be void due to their interference with state sovereignty (in violation of the Tenth Amendment) and the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion (in violation of the First Amendment).In December, Vice President Joe Biden signed the bill into law. If a marriage is legal in the state where it took place, then the federal government must also recognize it.
Does A Ban Even Have A Chance Of Passing In Iowa?
Iowa’s proposed ban on same-sex marriages would require at least a few years to pass into law. Getting this through the Iowa legislature and Gov. Kim Reynolds’s desk is a tall order. Further legislative action and voter approval would be required.
Hundreds of students in Iowa staged a ‘We Say Gay’ walkout on Wednesday to protest a recent package of bills that they say violates the rights of LGBTQ youth. The Des Moines Register reported that students were concerned about the long-term effects of the bills.
Ironically, in 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously overturned a ban on gay marriage, making Iowa the third state in the United States to do so.
What Exactly Is The “Respect For Marriage Act”?
All marriages that are legal in the state where they were performed are considered legal on a federal level thanks to the Respect for Marriage Act. A marriage that is legally recognized in one state must be recognized as valid in all other states. This law safeguards same-sex and interracial unions.
States that have banned same-sex marriage must still recognize existing marriages under federal law, even if the Supreme Court reverses its landmark decision to legalize the practice.
Rep. Elinor Levin (D-Iowa City) said, “our code still does not reflect that,” despite Iowa becoming the third state to legalize same-sex marriage after a unanimous decision by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2009.
Levin predicted that “we will be seeing it again” in subsequent years, even though the bill was not scheduled for a hearing.
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