A bid to ban same-sex marriage in Iowa has stalled again at the statehouse.
Supporters of the move failed to submit their proposal in time to meet a legislative deadline, so it cannot be considered in a House committee this year. Iowa Family Leader Foundation president Chuck Hurley said his organization wound up getting 35 House Republicans to co-sponsor a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.
“We didn’t intentionally delay it,” Hurley told reporters from Radio Iowa and Lee Enterprises. “What we were doing was trying to get to every single house member that we thought might vote for it.”
AUDIO of 5 minute interview.
Their tally of 35 House supporters is far short of the 51 votes needed for the proposal to pass the House, plus it was submitted too late to be eligible for consideration in a House committee.
“It was admittedly kind of late in the process,” Hurley said, “so probably the most likely outcome of that is that it will be brought up next year.”
According to Hurley, the “o.k. part” about failing to meet this year’s deadline is the process of amending the state’s constitution takes years. Their proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage has to pass the legislature either this year or next year — and then must win legislative approval again in 2015 or 2016 before the issue can be submitted to Iowa voters.
“There’s not this, you know, panting desperation that we’ve got to get it out of funnel this moment or it will be dead forever or, you know, many, many more lives will be affected,” Hurley said.
The “funnel” Hurley mentioned is a legislative deadline. Policy proposals like the ban on same-sex marriage must clear a committee by this Friday or the proposals are dead for the year.
However, Hurley’s group sent an email late this afternoon, urging supporters to contact members of a key House committee and ask for a vote on the same-sex marriage ban yet this year. Even if the proposal were to clear the House in 2013, the Democratic leader of the senate has said it will not be considered in the senate in 2013 or 2014.
An April, 2009 Iowa Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa.