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Two Ankeny Legislators Among Group Proposing Constitutional Ban of Same-Sex Marriage in Iowa

A group of 35 Iowa legislators introduced the Iowa House Joint Resolution 11 to the state House of Representatives on Tuesday, which seeks to amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Two Ankeny legislators are among a group of state lawmakers seeking to redefine the definition of marriage in Iowa.

Representatives Kevin Koester (38) and John Landon (37), both Republicans, are among 35 legislators who sponsored Iowa House Joint Resolution 11, introduced to the Iowa House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill is seeking to amend the Constitution of the State of Iowa to specify marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal union that is valid or recognized in the state.

Related:

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Iowa since April 2009, when the Iowa Supreme Court deemed a state law restricting marriage to a union between a man and woman unconstitutional.

For the constitution to be amended, the measure would have to win legislative approval in two consecutive General Assemblies and then go to a vote of the people, the Des Moines Register reported on Tuesday.

However, it is unlikely the bill will advance this session, House Judiciary Chairman Chip Baltimore, R-Boone, told the newspaper.

In 2011, Koester also co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 6, a similar piece of legislation calling for the same amendment to the state constitution. Prior to last November's election, Koester said he felt voters should decide the legality of same-sex marrige in Iowa.

What do you think? Should this be a priority for the Iowa Legislature this session? Tell us in the comments.

Sarah Elizabeth March 06, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Shame on them for wanting to legislate bias and inequality. I'm ashamed this is happening in my state!
Justin Arnold March 06, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Shame on you Sarah for not caring if the people have a say or not...whether you are for it or against it that is what democracy is all about. Just wait until the next time a group of judges decree something you are fundamentally against...something tells me you would want to vote on it. But perhaps you would just stand by and except being silenced.
Jim Zupan March 06, 2013 at 06:51 PM
If you are fundamentally against same sex marriage, then my advice is to marry someone of the opposite sex...that's what I did. As far as legislating bigotry, I am against that. The way I look at our constitution, it is set up to protect the freedoms of everyone, as long as they don't infringe on someone else’s freedom. As a conservative, actions like this scare me. The Republican Party is getting weaker everyday because of politicians such as these people.
Jim R March 06, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Here are more facts relevant to this issue. John Landon paid Justin Arnold thousands of dollars as his campaign manager for the local 2012 Republican primary. Arnold is the editor for The Conservative Reader: http://iowa.theconservativereader.com/. Landon finished a distant third in that June 5, 2012 primary with half of the votes of winner Jim Robidoux, but he was given the nomination by a group of ten cronies, close associates, campaign workers, and campaign contributors who had managed to get on the local Republican Central Committee. 21 members of the local Republican Central Committee were to select the nominee of the party because primary winner Robidoux earned 34.16% of the vote, just a few votes short of the 35% required by state law for the automatic nomination of the party. Landon earned 17% of the vote of the people (Tea Party activist Matt DeVries earned 29% and had nine cronies on the committee of 21). Robidoux refused to put cronies on a committee that could subvert the vote of the people and overturn the results of the primary, the plan of the Landon and DeVries campaigns.
Jim R March 06, 2013 at 08:45 PM
At the February 2, 2013 Legislative Forum at Neveln in Ankeny, Robidoux asked Representatives Landon and Koester and Senator Whitver to introduce a bill that would name the winner of the primary as the party nominee and remove the arbitrary 35% percent threshold. In the Des Moines Register in September 2012, Senator Whitver stated that it is “irresponsible” for a delegate to vote for the third-place vote getter in the electoral college, but that is exactly what happened in Ankeny in the House 37 selection process. Landon, Koester, and Whitver have either refused to consider submitting a bill that would name the winner of the primary as the nominee or have clearly stated “no” to this request by constituent Robidoux. In summary, then, Koester, Landon, and Arnold don’t want seven judges setting marriage policy, but it’s okay for ten local Republican activists to overturn the results of a $12,500 taxpayer-funded primary representing almost 21,000 voters in order to name their buddy Landon the as nominee of the party. Koester, Landon, and Arnold call for democracy in the name of marriage, but refuse to support the vote of the people to name the party nominee. These are facts.
Tonia Land March 06, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Democracy is about all people getting a say in something that affects their lives, which doesn't translate to all people getting to vote for or against the rights of someone else. It doesn't matter if you're against gay-marriage, as it doesn't affect your life. Let people be happy.
Charlotte G. March 07, 2013 at 07:20 AM
Jim, I agree, you seemed to be the clear winner of the first round. Whatever else happened, you did not go on, and these two did, it seems. What does this have to do-now, except sour grapes, with this issue? If you had won, would you have been a party to this resolution? Whichever way you are, well, it seems people of some states here in the US, had the right to vote on this issue, and we were not allowed that here, thanks to our supreme voice. Ok or not, well, bringing up those trying to change what is done? Good luck, but still some fight... P.S., do you still teach our children here? If so, whatever opinions and issues you have, well, I have to admit, too many teachers just cannot resist walking that fine line, be it this, or the hs split, or etc.with how they try to engage our students now. Never an easy job, esp. these days.
Jack F March 08, 2013 at 02:40 PM
So is Jim Robidoux for a constitutional ammendment to define marrage as one man and one worman? All of the infighting seems humorus but where does he stand on this social issue????
Joe Morr March 09, 2013 at 08:56 PM
After being married for 58 years this August, I'm certainly not for anything except marriage between a man an a woman. I do not care what the Supreme Court said. Next we'll be putting this in our school textbooks. Give us the priviledge of voting on this issue in Iowa and whoever wins I'll be satisified with.
Nathan Hofstadter March 09, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Here's an idea. If you don't like gay marriage don't get one. Otherwise keep your nose out of other's bedrooms. So simple.

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