April 3rd, 2009
04:16 PM ET
4 years ago

Republicans weigh in on Iowa same-sex ruling

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Michael Steele is one of several Republicans criticizing the Iowa Supreme Court ruling.
Michael Steele is one of several Republicans criticizing the Iowa Supreme Court ruling.

(CNN) – Republicans are sharply criticizing the Iowa Supreme Court ruling Friday that reverses the state's 11-year-old ban on same-sex marriage.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele:

"The Iowa Supreme Court's decision today to reverse an 11 year old state law outlawing same-sex marriage is sadly another example of judicial activism currently threatening family values in America. While I respect an individual's right to live his or her life as they see fit, decisions like this are better left in the hands of legislators and governors."

"I firmly believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. A state's autonomous nature allows it to change its laws as the citizenry sees fit, but it should be done by the people, not through judicial decree."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney:

"I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman and the definition of marriage should be left to the people and not to activist courts."

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (via Twitter):

"Iowa Sup. Court dec. to allow same sex marriage is disappointing. All Iowans should have a say in this matter, not legislative judges ... must fight to preserve family and amend the Constitution of the United States to define marriage as one man and one woman."

South Carolina governor Mark Sanford:

Joel Sawyer, a spokesman for Sanford, did not react to the Iowa ruling specifically, but said the governor is "against same-sex marriage." Sawyer pointed out that "South Carolina passed a same-sex marriage ban last year, and the governor was supportive of it."

Alaska governor Sarah Palin:

Bill McAllister, a spokesman for Palin, said that as of this morning, "we haven't discussed it." Palin has said she opposes defining marriage as anything but between a man and a woman.


Filed under: Michael Steele • Mitt Romney
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIT

    When it comes to raising a famly, from blacks, asians to Hispanics, WE ALIGN with the RELIGIOUS RIGHTS of the ELEPHANT PARTY. For those of us that go to church or have strong cultural faimly background, it is NOT ACCEPTABLE. ELEPHANTS you are not alone in this fight to preserve the family. I dont know the sooner we legalize it, the sooner the end of the world wil appear at out doorsteps. So let it begin!!

    April 3, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Douglas, Hollywood

    New Flash! Being gay is not all about sex...

    April 3, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. arithmetic is liberal

    A question for Michael Steele:

    If Civil Rights should be voted upon, how do you think the vote for segregation would have gone in 1965 Alabama?

    Not well?

    If people voted on civil rights back in the 60's as Michael Steele suggests, then Michael Steele wouldn't be the President of the Republican National Convention. He'd be waiting its tables.

    April 3, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. FreeNLovIT

    When a man can make a baby, I will support this movement, meanwhile, God rules!!

    April 3, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Oregonian

    It is the job of the higher courts to interpret the law and the basis of law in a state or the federal constitution. It is amazintg to me that a group of polititions who have probably never read the Iowa constitution feel they can just automatically call the court (4 of which are Republicans) "Activist" judges because they disagree with their decision which was based on sudying that constitution in depth.
    That is like calling the judges on the Terry Schivo case (who were all Republicans) Activist, or Trent Lott who examined a 10 second video clip diagnosed her as "Alive, Sentient and Suffering".
    When will Republicans ever learn the difference between disagreement and legality?

    April 3, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. curt

    Those advocating that these matters should be left to popular vote miss the point entirely–just because an idea is popular (and therefore wins a majority in the legislature) does not make it legal. The judiciary exists expressly for this reason.

    April 3, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Craig

    These Republican loudmouths need to read the opinion before making stupid comments. The decision is based on an equal protection argument, not judicial activism.

    April 3, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Chris from San Antonio

    "The Iowa Supreme Court's decision today to reverse an 11 year old state law outlawing same-sex marriage is sadly another example of judicial activism currently threatening family values in America."

    So now "judicial activism" includes guaranteeing the same rights to ALL citizens? Nice. It's good to see what the Republican Party really stands for.

    April 3, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. P. Y.

    Republicans hate everybody, even themselves at times.

    I am a WASP. I am a senior citizen. I am a Democrat, I guess a lib.
    I am heterosexual.
    After saying all that, I say let the states handle this the way that the people of that state vote to do. If the gays are not happy with the vote, then challenge it in court.
    I was brought up to believe " to each his own " Why does anyone feel threatened by gay folks or their desire to marry ? It is no ones business except the people who are involved. They are not asking you to support them. As for the religious aspects of what gays do. Let them work it out with their God. Who are any of us to preach religion to others. I think we would all be a lot happier if we would just mind our own business.

    April 3, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Tom in Delaware

    Whatever happened to the will of the people?

    April 3, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. al in memphis

    This is neither a Republican or Democrats issue. In fact it's not even an issue about individual choice. Right now in all 50 states, two (adult) people can make a private decision to engage in sex without interference from the government, church, or any institution.
    You have that freedom whether their are laws in favor or opposing.

    Telling people it's a backward way of thinking doesn't change the fact that mankind is the only one out of all the species walking the earth (plant or animals) that makes this choice.

    April 3, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. rand

    Our constitution was written to guarantee equal rights to all citizens.

    Was it up to the public to allow interracial marriages? Women the right to vote? Desegregation?

    The GOP embarrasses itself by playing the "holier than thou" or "family values" card. ( We all remember the corruption and hypocrisy that has come to the forefront in recent years).

    Bottom line: If you believe that marriage is between a Man and a Woman that is fine. It doesn't mean that everyone else needs to think the same way. If my religion is tolerant of gay marriage, so be it. Part of being a person of faith is tolerance.

    April 3, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Anthony - Los Angeles, CA

    I wonder if Mr. Steele's philosophy of judicial activism applies to all laws or only to those with which he personally disagrees. Perhaps slavery ought to have been up to the people of each state to decide as well and judges who upheld the Constitutional rights of African Americans were imposing their views upon those who disagreed.

    April 3, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Creative Woody

    I guess "acitvist judge" is anyone that declares a law unconstitutional.
    I could have sworn that was their job. But, hey, thanks GOP, for giving me the real definitiion. Stay classy!

    April 3, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. ronald

    So, um... I guess same sex couples don't have family values?

    April 3, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Will

    In 1837, the voters in many states would have passed legislation denying blacks the right to vote. Until 1920, the voters in many states (all men) would have passed legislation denying women the right to vote. Just because legislators, governors, and a majority of citizens think a measure is right, that doesn't make it right, just, or even constitutional. That's why we have the Separation of Powers. And now that we aren't under the Bush administration's control anymore, can we go back to seeing this process as the one designed by our founders?

    April 3, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. Steve, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    I live in Iowa and I think we will be okay. We don't need alot of outsiders telling us what to do. But as usual, the Republicans will whip up mass hysteria among the self righteous holier- than -thou crowd. I am not for gay marriage but have no problem with civil unions which is probabaly the way this will end up. I have not seen any change in our state since yetersday.

    April 3, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Mike, Southern Male

    The majority of people opposed to gay marriage are just as ignorant as the majority of people that wanted to continue slavery and suppress women's rights. The second that marriage became a government institution with benefits, the rules that applied to marriage were the Constitution first, then the Bible. And the primary job of the courts is to interpret the constitution, which is exactly what Iowa did.

    Opponents that say the court crossed the line need to go back to school since they obviously didn't pay attention in their government class. Or they're just mad because the ruling didn't go their way, so they'll say anything to get attention. Get educated and grow up.

    April 3, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Doc

    I dont know...my life with my spouse really doesnt hinge on whether two men or two women are making love or cutting up grocery coupons in Iowa. In fact, it's more affected by lunatic religious freaks who try and impose their own values on everyone else and at the same time piss and moan when they rail against government expansion or legislating from the bench. Means nothing to them if a judge rules in their favor on an issue, that's not legislation, its jurisprudence! So phoney, so hypocritical, so petty.

    April 3, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    Do these religious zealots not get it? Any marriage is a civil union. If not, then why did my husband and I have to go to city hall to get a license? Marriage is a legally binding contract, otherwise, why do I need a lawyer to disolve it? Last I heard, discrimination against people entering into a legal contract of any kind was against the law. Let's take out religion and romance from this arguement!

    April 3, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Reg

    HAHAHEHE these phools have the Political radius of a disabled
    three year old! Hey as long as decent people want to be educated
    we have a chance to override these dummies from the hate they seem
    to cling too!

    Micheal Steele aka jewish nazi is unbelievable! He hates himself so
    much it's sickening! The token tar baby is a disgrace to the human
    race! Being an Afro-American I reserve the right to speak in candor
    and facts! Mikey forgets that not to long ago my wife (Jewish) and I
    wouldn't be able to marry! So disingenuous so hypocritical so
    republican / conservative circa 1965

    April 3, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. John Kusters

    I believe the Iowa Supreme Court said it best:

    "A statute inconsistent with the Iowa Constitution must be declared void, even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion."

    April 3, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. Taa Taa

    Republicans are just plain silly.... So out of touch!!! The party of affairs and men tapping toes to show they are willing to have gay relations, as long as you don't marry the man right....!!!!!! Hypocrites...

    April 3, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Bob in Pa

    This is so irratating. The people Vote for something or get legislation passed and a few dast talking tongue twisting Lawyers convince a couple of Judges to overturn it. This has got to stop !

    The needs of the few do not out weigh the needs of the many.

    April 3, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. Jimmy

    President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. John Kerry, Sen. John Edwards and many, many other thoughtful Democrats have stated repeatedly that they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, that they favor civil unions but not gay "marriage." Why do we only have Republicans weighing in on this? Where are all the Democrats who repeatedly said they favored the traditional definition of marriage? This unfortunate Iowa ruling, made by unelected judges with degrees from places you've hardly heard of, is so extreme that even our leading Democrats have consistently expressed their opposition for exactly this kind of action. Where are their voices now? Their silence is cowardly.

    April 3, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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