Thursday, April 9, 2009

UPDATE: 400 Gather at Iowa Capitol to Protest Same-Sex Marriage

UPDATE: House Speaker Pat Murphy ruled the House cannot suspend rules it has enacted jointly with the Senate. House members can only suspend their own rules.

The only way to suspend the joint rules is for someone to introduce a resolution in the Rules and Administration Committee. If it starts in the House, then there’s a vote in House committee and in the full House. If it passes, it goes to Senate committee then a vote of the full Senate.

Meaning: no amendment process today.
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It's being reported by the Desmoines Register that at least 400 same-sex opponents have gathered in protest at the Iowa Capitol.

When a Republican call for a state constitutional amendment, which would effectively ban same-sex marriage, was ruled out of order, shouts came from the gallery, "Let us vote!"

"Security was stepped up considerably at the Statehouse this morning," reports the Desmoines Register. "Troopers are standing guard outside the chamber doors, in the balconies and around the Iowa Capitol."

Iowa Family Policy Center, a conservative group that opposes same-sex marriage and who are pushing beyond state rules for an amendment, said they would work to vote elected officials who support gay marriage out of office.

“You can let them know today that this issue is different. This is not about taxes or spending and regulations. This is about morality and the word of God,” said Family Policy Center Board Chair Danny Carroll, a former Republican representative from Grinnell.

Fortunately, One Iowa, the states largest LGBT rights group, also made an appearance, handing out stickers and flyers in opposition to the Iowa Family Policy Center.

House Speaker Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, has said he will likely rule the bill to begin the amendment process out of order. The bill, House Joint Resolution 6, did not meet certain legislative deadlines.

Even if the bill were to pass this year, it would also have to pass the legislature in 2011 and couldn’t be on the ballot until 2012.

UPDATES from the Desmoines Register:

At 9:26 a.m. Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen asked for a call of the house. It’s a procedure in which all lawmakers at the Capitol are to report to their desk and are not to leave the House chambers. Such moves are often made when controversial votes come before the legislature to help prevent lawmakers from leaving.

At 9:55 a.m., legislative leaders were continuing to talk about a motion to lift legislative rules and immediately consider House Joint Resolution 6. The talk includes Murphy, Paulsen, Gronstal, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, D-Des Moines and Chief Clerk of the House Mark Brandsgard.

PICTURE: ARTURO FERNANDEZ/THE REGISTER

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