A state Senate panel will debate the issue of gay marriage today. Senator Ken Veenstra, a republican from Orange City, says it’s important to keep local officials here from permitting what’s happened in places like San Francisco where gay marriage licenses have been issued.Veenstra says marriage is not “man’s invention,” but an “institution established by our creator and therefore has value to our society.” Veenstra’s pushing an amendment to the State Constitution which would ban gay marriage in Iowa. Senator Jack Hatch, a democrat from Des Moines, says state law already bans gay marriage, and there’s no need for a Constitutional amendment. Hatch says republicans are trying to promote their own “social policy” attacking gay marriage. Hatch says he personally believes “two people who love each other should have the right to engage in a ceremony that would allow them the full benefits of a couple.”