Iowa Sen. Ernst defends support for gay-marriage bill after local GOP groups move to censure

President Joe Biden is set to sign a bill which provides protections for same-sex and interracial marriages on Tuesday.
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 7:37 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst told reporters on Monday she stands by her vote to approve the Respect for Marriage Act, despite disapproval from some other Iowa Republicans.

The Des Moines Register reports several Iowa Republican county parties voted to censure or condemn Ernst for her support of the bill.

The Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act earlier this month, with the support of a dozen Republicans, including Sen. Ernst.

The Respect for Marriage Act requires states to recognize marriages from other states, even if the Supreme Court overturns federal protections.

It comes after some have questioned whether the Supreme Court would overturn its 2015 ruling on same-sex marriages, following its overturning of Roe V. Wade in June.

Iowa Republican county parties including those in Des Moines, Guthrie, Ida, Mahaska, Pocahontas, Van Buren and Wright counties have voted to censure Ernst in recent weeks following her support of the bill, according to the conservative blog the Iowa Standard.

Ernst told reporters on Monday, she doesn’t agree with the censure.

“I hope that more people will actually read the bill and understand we have just improved upon religious liberty protections, not just in Iowa, but across the United States,” she said.

Ernst said the legislation applies only to governments, not individuals, and it does not require religious institutions to recognize same-sex marriages.

President Biden is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday.