State Legislatures Now Marriage Battlefields?

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Some Iowans are fighting back against their state supreme court's decision to legalize gay marriage.

They say it should be the people's decision, not the court's.

Click the player to watch the report from CBN News Senior Washington Correspondent Paul Strand.

However, Iowa is only one battleground in the fight over same-sex marriage as some state legislatures are also considering the issue.

Same-Sex Couples Registering to Wed in Iowa

In Iowa, couples are already registering to wed after the state's highest court voted unanimously just a week ago Friday to allow same-sex marriage.

But many traditional marriage advocates are fighting to stop that. Some four hundred of them rallied outside the legislature Thursday.

"God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," the Iowa Family Policy Center's Chuck Hurley told the crowd.

They prayed, then marched into the chambers, asking lawmakers to amend Iowa's constitution, so it bans gay marriage.

Twice, the Democratic leaders blocked Republican efforts to approve a constitutional amendment. That also blocked the chance for all Iowans to vote on banning gay marriage.

Gay marriage advocates in the chambers cheered the Democrats on.

"We're just looking to tell legislators how proud they are of Iowa," said Brad Clark of One Iowa.

A recent poll showed nearly two-thirds of Iowans believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

New Battlefields

But Iowa is only one of the new battlefields on same-sex marriage.

Vermont's legislature just legalized it by barely overriding a veto by Vermont's governor.

The Rhode Island legislature is also set to consider it, but the Republican governor is saying he wishes they wouldn't. He says it's such a crucial issue, it should be decided by all the voters.

"Dealing with this in legislatures and within the court system is not the way to deal with an issue that's this significant in terms of its impact on a foundation, a bedrock of society," said Gov. Don Carcieri.

Opponents were on hand as well.

"If this legislation were passed, I'm not convinced I would get married," said gay marriage supporter Ken Fish. "But I really care about it as a civil right."

And Rhode Island's not alone. New Jersey and New York are also considering legalization.

William Donohue of the Catholic League says the only way homosexuals can win on this issue is if they win in the courts or legislatures and avoid votes of the people.

"In 30 states across the United States, a referendum, the people already voted," he explained. "They don't want it. Gays have never won in one out of 30 states."

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CBN News
Paul Stand

Paul Stand

CBN News Senior Washington Correspondent

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