Harkin: “I would vote against” ban on gay marriage

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) is the guest on this evening's edition of "Iowa Press" on Iowa Public Television and he was asked about the issue of gay marriage.

"Iowa has always been in the forefront of extending civil rights," Harkin said. 

As for what the political fall-out may be in future elections, Harkin offered this opinion:  "People will look back and say, 'What was the fuss about?'"

Question: If you as an Iowa voter are presented with a proposed amendment to the state constitution which would ban gay marriage, how would you vote?

Harkin:  "I would vote against it."

Harkin contends the issue will "fade" and opponents will find "they're on the losing end, the losing end of history."

Question: So what has changed for you between when you voted for the Defense of Marriage Act and today?

"We all grow as we get older and we learn things and we become more sensitive to people and people's lives and the more I've looked at that, I've grown to think differently about how people, how we should live and I guess I got to the point of, I'm at that point, 'Live and let live.'"

Here is the statement which Harkin released on the day the Iowa Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage was issued:

"My personal view has been that marriage is between a man and a woman, and I have voted in support of that concept.  But I also fundamentally believe that same sex couples in a civil union should be entitled to all the basic legal protections and benefits of marriage.  The Court found that it is necessary to afford same sex couples the ability to marry in order to allow them those legal protections and benefits.  I will respect and support that decision and I hope that other Iowans can do the same.  I know that this decision will be very hard for many to accept but I also know that it will provide many committed same sex couples and families important rights, as well as an important sense of recognition and belonging.”

UPDATE:  Here's the Radio Iowa story, which longer quotes from today's taping.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Marriage is not a civil right, it is a religious sacrament. No religion recognizes marriage between two people of the same sex, except the religion of liberalism. Government recognition of gay marriage violates the separation of church and state.