Democrats in the Iowa Senate Sunday re-elected Michael Gronstal as their majority leader. But in a two-hour-long closed-door meeting, some Democratic Senators lobbied Gronstal to allow a vote on the issue of same-sex marriage. Gronstal has vowed to block action in the senate on a resolution that would set up a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
“I don’t think I’ve really wavered on this subject. I’ve said it from kind of start to finish on this whole discussion,” Gronstal said this weekend on Iowa Public Television. “I’m not going to put discrimination in the constitution of the state of Iowa.” Senate President Jack Kibbie, a Democrat from Emmetsburg, is among the senators who’d like Gronstal to change his mind and at least allow a vote.
“Well, he might make that decision on the floor, but maybe the committees might make a different decision,” Kibbie said. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Democrats expect to hold a 26-to-24 majority in the Iowa Senate in January, although the ballots cast in two very close state senate races are being recounted. Gronstal says the senators who met Sunday discussed what went wrong for Democrats on November 2nd.
“We lost a number of folks and we certainly regret that and we think those were good public servants, but we’ll continue that evaluation,”Gronstal says. “But we had some initial discussions about that.” Gronstal says Democrats in the senate will meet again in early December to come up with a list of the issues they plan to pursue when the legislature convenes in January.
Republicans will control the debate agenda in the Iowa House, and a Republican governor will be sworn into office in mid-January.