Iowa panel backs putting gay marriage to a vote


The Associated Press reports:

A key House committee on Monday approved a resolution that would begin the long process of putting a gay marriage ban before voters.

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.

...More than 200 people jammed the committee room to make their case to lawmakers, with both sides cheering and clapping.