Iowa Republican wants gay marriage debate
Mar 04,2008 00:00 by UPI

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Republican leader in the Iowa Legislature plans to try a rarely-used parliamentary rule to force debate on same-sex marriage, a published report said.

House Minority Leader Christopher Rants wants lawmakers to consider House Resolution 8, which would begin a process to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, The Des Moines (Iowa) Register reported Monday.

"We have to do it now or this issue is done," the Sioux City Republican said. "We're going to see (gay) marriages take place in Iowa. Iowa's going to be the sort of the Las Vegas of America because we have no residency requirement and we'll have (gay) people from all across the country coming to Iowa to get married."

Democratic leaders, however, want the state's Supreme Court to finish its consideration of same-sex marriage before the Legislature acts.

Rant said he wants to force debate on the measure Tuesday so it might pass out of the House Judiciary Committee this week, in which case it can be eligible to become law this year.

House Speaker Pat Murphy said he expects Rant will fail to get the 51 votes needed to move the bill to the full House.

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