Governor Terry Branstad says it will be up to “grassroots” Republicans attending his party’s state convention whether the Iowa GOP’s 2016 platform continues to oppose same-sex marriage.
“It’s the delegates that make that decision and the last thing the delegates want is for the governor to tell them what they should include or not include in the platform,” Branstad says. “I do respect the process and the fact that it is a grassroots document developed by the delegates, not by the elected officials.”
Some of the Republican presidential candidates have suggested passage of laws to ensure those who have religious objections aren’t compelled to be a party to a same-sex marriage ceremony. The Texas Attorney General has told county officials in Texas they do not have to issue same-sex marriage licenses if they have a religious objection. Iowa’s Republican governor says people’s religious liberties shouldn’t be “taken for granted,” but Branstad is not suggesting that county officials in Iowa quit issuing same-sex marriage licenses here.
“I respect the division that occurs in this country on this controversial decision, but feel that we have an obligation to follow the law,” Branstad says.
Branstad says same-sex marriage is “well established” in Iowa after the state supreme court ruled in 2009 that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
“Three members of the supreme court, when they were up for retention, were rejected by the voters,” Branstad says, “so it is a controversial issue and we’ve gone through it in the state of Iowa and we’ve lived with the decision and people have also lived with the consequences of it.”
Branstad made his comments during his weekly news conference, which you may hear here.
Branstad on a Friday appearance on IPTV’s “Iowa Press” program said passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage isn’t likely, since it would require approval of two-thirds of congress and then ratification by 34 states.