Iowa Republicans Propose Ending Gay Marriage Recognition

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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HJR8 is proposes a Constitutional Amendment, which would take several years to accomplish. Should the people of Iowa vote for such an amendment, laws would have to be adjusted to make laws fair for all.

Republican Iowa legislators introduced a measure Tuesday that seeks to end state recognition of same-sex marriages through an amendment to the state constitution.

The amendment would define marriage as a union between a biologically male and female person. The Supreme Court required states to recognize same-sex marriages in 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges, and President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law in December, requiring the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages; Iowa’s amendment would run afoul of federal law, which takes precedent over state law.

“In accordance with the laws of nature and nature’s God, the state of Iowa recognizes the definition of marriage to be the solemnized union between one human biological male and one human biological female,” the proposal reads.

“HR508 is really about Federal government operating far outside its Constitutional boundaries. Here, the Feds are trying to tell states what ‘marriage’ is and is not,” Republican Iowa state Rep. Brad Sherman said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Federal government simply does not have the power to do that. HR508 does not redefine or erase any existing state law regarding same-sex marriage.”

He said the measure would take several years to pass.

“The bill does not seek to tell same-sex couples what to believe. If they want to call their relationship a marriage, they are free to do so; that is freedom. But by the same token, people who do not define same-sex unions as marriage must not be forced to do so. HR508 protects them from prosecution and their religious liberty,” Sherman said.

Democratic Iowa state Rep. Sami Scheetz came out against the measure.

“No, @IowaGOP, we will not be going back to the days when committed, loving same-sex couples don’t have the same right to marriage equality as everyone else,” he wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “This kind of disgusting hatred and backwards thinking has no place in Iowa. And I’ll fight it every single day.”

Republicans also proposed a joint resolution Tuesday allowing Iowa residents to not acknowledge same-sex marriages. The proposal states that the Respect for Marriage Act violates the Constitution by encroaching on powers granted to states and calls for that law to be nullified in Iowa.

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