Dozens of Iowans from all corners of the state have made a pilgrimage to the Iowa Statehouse today as a show of support for a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. Advocates of "traditional marriage" have packed the public seating gallery in the House of Representatives for this morning’s speech by the Iowa Supreme Court’s chief justice and they plan a rally outside on the capitol steps over the lunch hour.
Chuck Hurley of the Iowa Family Policy Center says they want lawmakers to give Iowans a right to vote on the issue of gay marriage — and they want the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling that briefly allowed one gay couple to marry in Iowa.
"The two entities that have a say-so on this lawsuit and on this issue of redefining marriage are the legislators who can pass a resolution allowing us to vote and the Supreme Court who has the case right now. It’s been appealed to them," Hurley says. Hurley is among the many who are wearing a red sweater.
"We encourage people to wear red, white and blue to represent the right to vote and we inked our fingers purple to liken it to the Iraqis right to vote," Hurley says. "We’re just asking for the right to vote." Earlier this morning, Dale Barnett of Orient was handing out stickers to folks as they walked in on the capitol’s ground floor.
"It says, ‘Let Us Vote’…because we the people would like to vote an amendment to our state constitution defining marriage as between one man, one woman," Barnett says. Barnett’s counterpart in the ground-floor welcoming zone in the capitol was helping folks put that ink stain on their index finger.
Vehicles in the statehouse parking lot that’s for visitors sported license plates from as far as away as Des Moines County in southeast Iowa and Sioux County in northwest Iowa, so Iowans from around the state are at the state capitol today.