So the Iowa Supreme Court dropped a bomb on the Legislature last week. That’ll teach lawmakers to think twice next time they want to cut the courts budget.
Now, everybody’s playing the hot new game — Gay Marriage keep away.
Most Republicans want a vote on a constitutional amendment resolution that would let voters decide whether to ban same-sex marriages. Some Democrats also want a resolution, with hopes that taking away some people’s rights will save their own skins in competitive districts. Courageous.
But, darn it, there’s no consensus. Oh, and then there’s the fact that we want to adjourn and haven’t passed a budget or a massive bonding plan or federal deductibility or, well, most of their agenda.
One cooler head is prevailing. The Gazette and others report that Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal will not allow a vote on a resolution this year and maybe not next year:
“I have no intention of taking it up,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs. “I’m not going to put discrimination in the state Constitution. It’s just a horrible idea.
Gronstal has been in this spot before, when he blocked a death penalty debate a few years back. Republicans vowed to take it to him. He now has a 14-seat majority.
The Des Moines Register points out another option. In 2010 voters will get their once-each-decade shot to call for a constitutional convention. Delegates could approve a gay marriage ban that could be ready for a vote in 2011. But it’s the Legislature that sets the rules on how a convention is structured.
The Register story also talks about how House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiwatha, have talked about co-sponsoring a marriage ban amendment resolution in the session’s final days. But again, Gronstal says no dice in the Senate.
Opponents of gay marriage are desperate to get things moving because they know once a bunch of couples get hitched and the sun keeps rising and setting and nobody turns into a pillar of salt that chances for a constitutional ban dwindle. So it’s hurry, hurry, hurry. Except, in any event, it will be two years before anyone votes.
Speaking of being in a hurry, I promised my kids muffins for breakfast. You know little kids, no patience.