Fifty-six Republicans in the Iowa House are co-sponsoring a resolution calling for a statewide vote to ban same-sex marriage in Iowa.

The proposed constitutional amendment would declare that a marriage between one man and one woman is the “only legal union valid” in Iowa. Representative Dwayne Alons, a Republican from Hull, is the proposal’s lead sponsor.

“The way it stands now, I think the best way to resolve it is to get it to the people and let them decide what is actually in their constitution,” Alons says.

In 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled a state LAW prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The political director for the advocacy group “One Iowa” says they knew the resolution would be introduced, but Troy Price says they hadn’t expected the proposed amendment to ban civil unions and domestic partnerships as well as same-sex marriages.

“It just goes to show that the sponsors of this (resolution) are committed to making sure that loving, committed (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) couples don’t have any recognition, that there’s no recognition, no protection for these couples,” Price says. 

Alons, the proposal’s sponsor, is confident it will soon pass the House, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 60 to 40.

“Marriage should be marriage and let’s not, say, play around with some other substitute definitions,” Alons says.

The resolution must be approved by the current legislature and, again, by legislators elected in 2012 before the proposed constitutional amendment can be placed on the ballot for a statewide vote. Governor Branstad has no formal role in the process of putting this proposal on the ballot, but the Democratic leader of the state senate has repeatedly vowed to block the effort to — in his words — “write discrimination into the constitution.”