Anti-gay hate groups have succeeded in getting the Iowa House to move its marriage referendum bill out of committee.
The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure on a 13-8 vote, sending the measure to the full House for debate. Earlier, a subcommittee of that panel voted 2-1 in favor of the resolution. House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, R-Garner, says the full House could take up the resolution within a few days, but next week is more likely. Republicans control the House on a 60-40 margin, and top leaders have predicted approval. Senate leaders promise to block the proposal in a chamber where Democrats are clinging to a 26-24 margin. Critics argued that basic rights shouldn’t be left to a vote of the people, while backers said voters are demanding that right.
The bill must be approved by both chambers in two consecutive years before it can go on the ballot, meaning that 2013 will be the earliest that voters would see it.