Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gay Marriage Foes Suffer Defeat In Iowa | On Top Magazine :: Gay & Lesbian News, Entertainment, Commentary & Travel

Oh well Maggie! that is 90k less you have to fight in Maine with

Gay Marriage Foes Suffer Defeat In Iowa | On Top Magazine :: Gay & Lesbian News, Entertainment, Commentary & Travel

Gay Marriage Foes Suffer Defeat In Iowa
By Carlos Santoscoy
Published: September 02, 2009

Gay marriage foes suffered a setback Tuesday with the defeat of Republican Stephen Burgmeier in Iowa.

Democrat Curt Hanson narrowly won the special election to fill the seat left vacant when Democratic Representative John Whitaker was tapped to serve as the Iowa director of the Farm Service Agency, The Iowa Independent reported.

The race was the first since the Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on April 3, and anti-gay marriage groups lobbied hard on behalf of Burgmeier.

At least three groups that oppose gay marriage supported Burgmeier: Everyday America, the Iowa Family Policy Center, and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

NOM, the nation's largest and most vociferous group opposing gay marriage, placed the heaviest bet, spending $90,000 in television and radio ads on the Republican. The group called the campaign Reclaim Iowa.

The race between the two men is a harbinger of politics to come in Iowa as Republicans continue to obsess about the court's ruling. All five leading Republicans hoping to win the governor's mansion in 2010 oppose gay marriage. Republican frontrunner Bob Vander Plaats has pledged he would sign an executive order placing a stay on gay marriages and force a public vote on the issue, if elected. Rod Roberts, an Iowa State Representative, has called for the ouster of the seven justices, three of which will be up for retention in 2010.

“Vote no on retention of those three judges coming up in 2010 and you will have a say,” Roberts told a crowd of Dallas County Republicans last week.

NOM aspires to repeat last year's successful repeal of legalized gay marriage in California with a voter-approved gay marriage ban, Proposition 8. Iowa, however, unlike states such as California, does not allow voters to initiate a constitutional amendment. Amendments must be approved by legislators before heading to voters. Leaving anti-gay groups with the daunting task of altering the composition of the Democratically-led Legislature before they can begin the legislative process.

Democrats hailed their victory, while Republican downplayed their loss.

“Democrats have been successful in the last two election cycles and tonight because we have recruited great candidates, followed through on the promises we've made and are governing the state responsibly,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Michael Kiernan said in a statement.

“While we are disappointed,” Matt Strawn, party chair of the Republican Party, said, “the fact that Republicans nearly won a solid [Iowa Governor] Culver-Obama legislative district shows that Iowans are not pleased with the status quo and one-party rule in Des Moines.”

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