Governor Chet Culver is praising Democratic legislative leaders for blocking a vote on a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution that would ban gay marriage. Culver held a news conference in his statehouse office on Wednesday afternoon, about 24 hours after the Iowa House and Senate completed their work.
Culver called the top two Democrats in the legislature M.V.P.s for their efforts over the past three months, including their fulfilled promise to block anti-gay marriage efforts. “We stood firm for the civil rights of every Iowan by saying loudly and clearly that any and all efforts to add discriminatory amendments to our state constitution have no place in our state constitution,” Culver said, reading from a prepared statement.
Culver told reporters his personal view remains that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but Culver at the same time celebrated the equality for gay couples gained on April 3rd of last year when the Iowa Supreme Court issued a ruling which made gay marriage legal in Iowa.
“Regardless of our personal views, we have a line that needs to be drawn between the executive branch, the judicial branch,” Culver said today, “and I think Iowans are ready to move on and accept that unanimous decision.”
All three of the Republican candidates for governor support a constitutional amendment which would ban gay marriage in Iowa. One of the three – Bob Vander Plaats — has said he’d issue an executive order which would forbid gay marriages in Iowa until a statewide vote is held on that constitutional amendment. Culver, a Democrat, intends to seek reelection in the fall and Culver told reporters he’s “absolutely….comfortable” his views on the topic will be acceptable to Iowa voters. According to Culver, most Iowans oppose efforts to reverse the court’s ruling.
“The overwhelming majority of Iowans do not want to amend our constitution in such as a way that’s discriminatory,” Culver said today “I think that’s the bottom line.”
Groups on both sides of the gay marriage debate plan events throughout the week to mark the one-year anniversity of the Iowa Supreme Court decision on gay marriage.
Listen to Culvers entire news conference here: Culver 22:25 MP3