A lawmaker's attempt to push legislation aimed at amending the Iowa Constitution to ban gay marriage failed Tuesday but will probably become a campaign issue this fall, lawmakers said.
House Minority Leader Christopher Rants sought a procedural vote to allow the proposal to skip past the typical legislative process and come up for debate in the full House. Approval of the resolution would be the Legislature's first step toward setting a public vote on amending the constitution.
The effort's failure means House Joint Resolution 8 is likely to die in committee this week. Most legislation must pass a House or Senate committee by the end of the week to remain eligible for further debate this year.
"I'm disappointed by the outcome," Rants, a Sioux City Republican, said shortly after the 50-to-46 vote split along party lines. Democrats voted against bringing up the resolution.
Democratic majority leaders have resisted debate on the resolution while the Iowa Supreme Court is considering a lower court ruling on Iowa's marriage law.
Polk County District Judge Robert Hanson ruled last year that Iowa's 1998 marriage law was unconstitutional in defining marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
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