STATEHOUSE SPLIT: Dueling Marriage Rallies

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Same sex marriage is an issue unlikely to get debate from Iowa lawmakers this year. But hundreds of Iowans let legislators know where they stand anyway.

The anti-same sex marriage group, the Family Leader, brought hundreds of people to the Iowa Statehouse Tuesday. The group’s CEO, Bob Vander Plaats warned if lawmakers don't vote this session to let Iowans vote on same sex marriage, then they could get voted out.

Vander Plaats also urged Iowans to not get confused when they hear the term, marriage equality, from same sex marriage supporters. He said, “If we want marriage equality, let's just stop for a second. Why stop at same sex? Why not have polygamy? Why not have a dad marrying his son or daughter? If we're going to have marriage equality, let's open this puppy up. And let's have marriage equality. Otherwise, let's stick to the way God designed it, one man and one woman...period."

After their rally, people moved upstairs to lobby lawmakers face to face for a public vote.

Minutes later outside on the statehouse steps, supporters of same sex marriage held their own event. They wanted Iowans to remember the people behind this debate, the neighbors who want to share their lives with a member of the same sex. And the senate’s only openly gay member, Matt McCoy, Democrat from Des Moines, also had words for Vander Plaat's rally. He said, “Bob Vander Plaats is making another desperate attempt to regain his lost political influence in today's stunt. The truth needs to be told. Bob Vander Plaats needs to get a real job instead of working on spreading a message of hate and discrimination."

Matt Mardis-Lecroy of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa called on lawmakers to uphold separation of church and state and not interfere with the supreme court's ruling legalizing same sex marriage nearly three years ago.