Some Iowa lawmakers want to make it illegal for people of the same gender to get married. Eight Republican members of the state House introduced a House Joint on Tuesday.
It proposes an amendment to the Iowa state constitution that “recognizes the definition of marriage as the solemn union of one human biological male and one human biological female.“
The idea comes after a number of anti-LGBTQ bills were written by Iowa Republicans, including ones about bathrooms, gender identity, and preventing minors from getting care that supports their gender identity. The attack is similar to what GOP lawmakers all over the country have done.
On Tuesday, Brad Sherman, Luana Stoltenberg, Mark Cisneros, Helena Hayes, Zach Dieken, Skyler Wheeler, Mark Thompson, and Thomas Gerhold all brought bills to the Iowa legislature.
Their plan comes more than two months after Congress approved gay marriages and almost eight years after the U.S. Supreme Court made history by making same-sex marriage legal in the U.S.
How Would the Bills in Iowa That Stop Same-sex Marriages Work?
House Joint Resolution 8, which is backed by eight Republicans in the House, would add a definition of marriage to the Iowa Constitution.
It would say, “According to the laws of nature and the God of nature, the state of Iowa recognizes that the definition of marriage is the legal union of one human male and one human female.”
Before they can be put on a statewide ballot for a vote of yes or no, changes to the Iowa Constitution must be passed by the Iowa Legislature twice in a row, with an election in between.
House File 508, which is also supported by eight Republicans, would say that marriage in Iowa is “a sacred religious sacrament” and that no Iowan can be forced to recognize a marriage between people of the same gender as valid.
It would say that Iowa thinks some parts of the federal Respect for Marriage Act are invalid because they violate the First Amendment's religious freedom protections and the Tenth Amendment by taking away powers from the state.
In December, President Joe Biden signed the law. It says that the federal government has to recognize marriages if they were legal in the state where they happened.
It also says that states can't refuse to recognize marriages that happen outside their borders because of the sex, race, ethnicity, or country of origin of the people getting married.
Would a Ban Even Pass in Iowa?
The resolution in Iowa to ban marriages between people of the same gender would probably take a few years, if not more, to become law. It would have to be passed by the Iowa House and Senate, and Gov.
Kim Reynolds would have to sign it. It would also have to be approved by voters and another legislative session. On Wednesday, hundreds of students in Iowa walked out of their classrooms as part of a protest called “We Say, Gay.”
They were upset about a new set of bills that they say hurt the rights of LGBTQ youth. The Des Moines Register said that students said these bills would hurt people in the long run.
In 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously overturned a ban on gay marriage, making Iowa the third state in the U.S. to allow gay marriage.
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