Senator Chuck Grassley annoyed some fellow Republicans last week by not voicing immediate support for an effort to thwart same-sex marriage in Iowa. Grassley reportedly said he’d first need to think for a month before offering his opinion about an effort to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.
Grassley tells Radio Iowa, his feelings on the issue should be clear. Grassley says, "I think everybody, conservative or liberal, knows where I stand on the issue of gay marriage."
He says his record on the issue is already established. "I voted for a constitutional amendment within the last three or four years that defined marriage as between a man and a woman," Grassley says.
"Prior to that, I voted for a bill that’s called The Defense of Marriage Act that is now the law of the land and was signed by President Clinton." He says it’s the absolute right of Iowans to change the constitution. "Iowans ought to have their say," Grassley says. "They ought to be able to decide."
Grassley says, "I wonder why we even have to defend marriage considering the fact that it’s been the foundation of our society, meaning the family, and the family, meaning one man and one woman, have been the foundation of our societies for six-thousand years."
Earlier this month, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional the state law that defines the only legal marriages in Iowa are those between a man and a woman.
Based on that ruling, the first same-sex marriages are expected to be held in Iowa starting April 27th. Grassley says his comment about waiting a month to voice his opinion on the issue was in reference to plotting strategy for how best to move forward.
"It doesn’t take me a month to make up my mind that I disagree with the Supreme Court case because I’ve done that years ago," Grassley says. "Not necessarily anticipating how the Iowa Supreme Court would rule, in fact, I’m kind of shocked how they would rule."
Grassley says he was hesitant to comment on the same-sex marriage issue initially as he was accused of meddling in state legislative affairs a few years ago by statehouse Republicans after it seemed he was trying to tell them how to vote on an ethanol bill.