Iowa Lawmakers Block Marriage Vote

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CBNNews.com - Supporters of traditional marriage in Iowa say they aren't giving up on bringing a marriage amendment vote to the people.

The state's House of Representatives voted against a procedural move Thursday which would have asked Iowa voters to approve a constitutional amendment defining marriage as "one man, one woman."

Bryan English of the Iowa Family Policy Center explained tthe strategy to CBN News. He said Iowa lawmakers can use the state legislature's Rule 60 to bring bills stalled in committee to the house floor. However, representatives have to vote for it to be allowed.

English says Rule 60 was voted out of order after Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal came to the House in a move to stop the vote.

"Gronstal has taken campaign contributions from Tim Gill and he put his head together with the Speaker of the House Pat Murphy and came up with an excuse to say Rule 60 was out of order."

CBN News' Heather Sells first reported last year on gay activist Tim Gill and his political strategy to support key elections at the state and local level to promote his agenda and garner support for gay issues. See that story here.

Later in the day, Republican Rep. Christopher Rants introduced an amendment to strike the entire bill and replace it with the Iowa Marriage Amendment language.

The amendment was again ruled out of order, and an attempt to suspend the rules was called. It was at that point that a recorded vote occurred. The measure failed 44 to 54.

English says this vote was a disappointment to the IFPC and other groups supporting traditional marriage but it was significant.

"All but two Democrats voted against allowing Rule 60 putting themselves, in essence, on record as being for gay marriage."

English says the battle isn't over yet in this Iowa legislative session. He told CBN News that senators who want to see a marriage vote go before Iowa voters have a plan. They hope to use a similar senate rule to bring a companion bill to the senate chambers.

Click the player to watch a report from CBN News on the issue before the vote.

Last week, the Iowa supreme court legalized gay marriage.  Conservatives were hoping lawmakers would overturn the decision by putting a vote on same-sex marriage before the people.

Earlier Thursday, former Iowa House speaker Danny Carroll spoke out in support of the marriage amendment.

"Our hearts go out to those with same-sex attraction," Carroll told CBN News. "I don't think any of us would want to trade places. But at the same time I think it's unconscionable that the court would ignore the word of God and proceed with such an opinion. It breaks my heart to see our judiciary and with the support of the executive and legislative branches to ignore the word of God and the people and proceed on a path they call progressive and tolerant," he continued.

The most recent Des Moines Register poll shows close to two-thirds of Iowans believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

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