Nov 102010

By Celine Klosterman

The Iowa Catholic Conference will keep working to amend the state’s constitution to define marriage as a union of one woman and one man, said Tom Chapman, the conference’s executive director.

Though 67 percent of Iowa voters rejected an opportunity Nov. 2 to call for a constitutional convention that would have allowed them to work for a marriage amendment, the conference will resume its efforts to pass an amendment through the legislature.

Chapman said the amendment’s odds may have improved somewhat since voters gave control of the state House of Representatives to Republicans, who now have 60 seats compared to the Democrats’ 40. But Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, has said he won’t let the issue come to a vote, Chapman noted. “It’s going to be a tough road.”

Chapman said Iowans’ vote on holding a constitutional convention was disappointing, but not surprising. “It got about the same number of votes it does every 10 years … the Iowa Catholic Conference just didn’t have the money to do a full-fledged educational campaign.”

Voters may have worried a convention could lead to undesired outcomes, such as expanded abortion rights, Chapman said.

He encouraged Catholics to visit to sign up for legislative alerts and receive notice of opportunities to get involved in the many issues on the conference’s agenda.

The marriage amendment “has been part of our agenda for many years, and we’ll continue to work on it.”

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