Desperate for an election-year campaign issue, House Minority Leader Chris Rants tried and failed today to pass a resolution that would have made a gay marriage ban eligible for debate this session. No committee in the Democratic-controlled chamber is willing to pass the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
By a 50-46 party-line vote, the House rejected Rants’ resolution, which would have allowed the chamber to debate the ban even after the bill failed to get through the “funnel.”
I am pleasantly surprised that none of the House Democrats defected on this procedural vote. They must all be feeling confident about their re-election prospects. Maybe that’s because nine House Republicans are retiring this year, while only two Democratic-held House seats will be open.
Regarding Rants’ efforts to keep the gay marriage debate alive, I think Des Moines Register reader Jay Radcliffe said it best in this letter to the editor from late January:
Thank goodness for Christopher Rants. As I drive down the highway smelling the stench from the hog lots, watching the filthy water roll under the bridge, worrying if my kids will fall behind as their schools fall apart, wondering if my elderly mother is receiving quality care and planning how to survive if I lose my job in this recession, Rants is leading the charge against gay marriage. Talk about a profile in courage.
Keep up the great work, Christopher!