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Iowa House GOP seeks to restore state’s ban on same-sex marriage

DES MOINES, IowaRepublicans are again proposing a change in the Iowa Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Rep. Dwayne Alons (R-Hull, Iowa), introduced a joint resolution Tuesday signed by 34 other House Republicans. Senate Republicans filed an identical bill last week.

The measure would begin the process of amending the state constitution to permit marriage only between a man and a woman.

The resolution would need to be passed by lawmakers, then approved by the Legislature elected in 2014 before going before voters.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Iowa since a unanimous 2009 state Supreme Court ruling, which found a law limiting marriage to between men and women violated Iowa’s constitution.

The court’s ruling made Iowa the nation’s third state to legalize same-sex unions. Nine states and the District of Columbia, now have legalized same-sex marriage.

Republicans have sought such a measure every year since the ruling, but Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, has repeatedly blocked any debate of such an amendment.

Between 2009 and 2011, there were 4,600 same-sex marriages in Iowa, according to the state’s public health department.

A 2012 poll by the Des Moines Register found that a majority of Iowans oppose passage of a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The poll found that 38% favor a legislative initiative to pass a constitutional amendment, while 56% are against.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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