Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle says banning gay marriage is a “quality of life” issue. Nussle, who is leaving congress after serving 16 years in the House, supports amendments to the federal and state constitutions that would ban gay marriage. “I’m an original co-sponsor of the amendment to protect marriage at a federal level. It was just re-introduced and I’m an original co-sponsor of that as well and I believe Iowa needs to set a standard when it comes to quality of life, and that’s based on the union between a man and a woman,” Nussle says.
Nussle says “activist judges” are “out of control” and have “free-lanced” on cases which have set in motion a fight over whether gay and lesbian couples have the same rights as married men and women. “I believe there’s a clear difference in this election between the candidates on this issue,” Nussle says.
Chet Culver, the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nominee, has said Iowa law currently spells out that the only legally-recognized marriages in Iowa are those between a man and a woman, and a constitutional amendment is not warranted. “I don’t think we need to change the marriage laws at this time in Iowa,” Culver said after a candidate debate in May. “I do think we need to add sexual orientation to the civil rights code.”
That move would bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Culver’s competitors for the Democratic nomination both backed a state law creating legalized “civil unions” for homosexual couples, but Culver opposes civil unions. “I do not think we need to change the marriage laws of Iowa,” Culver said. “I’ve said that throughout the course of this campaign.”
A constitutional amendment banning gay marriage failed to garner enough support in the United State Senate Wednesday to move forward. The amendment got 49 yes votes, but it needed two-thirds support to pass teh Senate.