Iowa politicos react to U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage

Iowa elected officials, a few who want to be elected officials in Iowa in the future and the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party have issued statements about today’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Read the statements Radio Iowa has received via email below, in the order they arrived:

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s rulings on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

“It’s a historic day. The Supreme Court’s ruling is a step forward for the cause of civil rights, affirming that loving, committed couples from all backgrounds deserve to have equal rights under federal law. This ruling is about fairness and respect for all citizens: our friends, family, and neighbors. 

“Whether it’s the right to adopt children, be free from discrimination, or marry the person you love, these are rights that should be available to all.”


In reaction to today’s decision by the Supreme Court, Sam Clovis, Republican candidate for US Senate, released the following statement:
“The American family and traditional values have been under attack by progressive liberals like Congressman Braley for years. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court on the Defense of Marriage Act is yet another step in the wrong direction for the social and physiological strength of our nation.
“If elected, Iowans can be assured that I will be a strong voice for the traditional nuclear family. I will uphold the premise that a family with one man and one woman brought together in holy matrimony is the most important building block of a society.”


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.  Loebsack was the first member of the Iowa delegation to sign on to the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA.

“Today is a great day for equality and marriage,” said Loebsack.  “I am pleased the Supreme Court took two important steps towards ending discrimination.  The decision today reaffirms nationwide what we Iowans already know— that love knows no bounds and all couples should have the same rights as their neighbors.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling that part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

“I am proud that Iowa has led the nation in recognizing marriage equality, as it has in the past on other civil rights issues. In its very first published opinion in 1839, the Iowa Supreme Court found that a slave named Ralph became free when he stepped on Iowa soil.  85 years before Brown v. Board of Education, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that Iowa schools could not be racially segregated.  And since 2009 Iowa has permitted same-sex marriage.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is a victory for all married Iowans, gay or straight, who can now love one another without fear of discrimination by the federal government. I am glad that the Court recognized that all American families deserve the same legal protections.  We have much progress to continue to tackle discrimination and prejudice in our country, including bias based on sexual orientation, but today’s decision is historic and a significant step for equality in our nation.”


The Family Leader CEO, Bob Vander Plaats, comments on the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday on the federal Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, and the Proposition 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Bob Vander Plaats said, “It is important to remember this is not the Roe v. Wade of marriage.  It does not authorize so-called “same-sex” marriage across the board and does not grant a civil right to marriage.  Both Supreme Court opinions have recognized that marriage is a state issue, and need to be decided at that level.  Iowans have yet to make that decision for themselves. 

Vander Plaats applauded Justice Roberts when Roberts stated that “We are judges, not policy makers.”  This confirms that the Iowa Supreme Court exceeded its Constitutional authority by forcing same-sex “marriage” on Iowa.

Vander Plaats continued, “We are disappointed that Justice Kennedy rationalized the decision he wanted to reach in determining that DOMA is unconstitutional.   We agree with the dissenting opinion, especially Justice Scalia, where he rightfully blasted Kennedy for not using a “rational bias” or “strict scrutiny” in reaching his opinion. 

“The definition of marriage affects everyone is foundational to our society, and Iowans need to decide for themselves how marriage will be defined.  We will continue to defend and protect marriage at every opportunity.”


Washington, DC- Congressman Steve King released the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled against key provisions in Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the case United States v. Windsor:

“I am disappointed in the Court’s ruling today because the American people should hold the power to determine marriage policy, not the Supreme Court,” said King. “I believe DOMA meets all constitutional standards and I am disappointed that a technical, standing issue means that gay marriage is legal in California despite the will of the voters who enacted Proposition 8.

“It is important to realize that the Supreme Court intentionally chose not to find a constitutional right to marry anyone you choose, whether same-sex, or otherwise. The definition of marriage is not redefined this day. Legally speaking, states are now the sole body responsible for identifying legal marriages. Thirty-eight states to date have chosen to identify only traditional marriage. The attempt to redefine marriage will not change the fact that limited government should be responsible for making this decision, and that marriage marks the sacred union of one man and one woman.”


DES MOINES – Iowa Democratic Party Chair Scott Brennan today issued the following statement after the US Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.
“Today is a great day.  Iowa led the way in marriage equality with the historic Varnum decision in 2009, and today, the thousands of gay and lesbian couples who have been married in the last four years will have their love and commitment recognized by the Federal government.  We know that after today’s ruling anti-gay forces are going to try even harder to take away the rights of LGBT Iowans. But the Iowa Democratic Party is the only party in the state that has fought to protect marriage equality, and we will never back down from the fight to protect the rights and freedoms of every Iowan.”


Senator Chuck Grassley gave the following statement after the Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.  Grassley voted for the bill that President Bill Clinton signed into law.

“I support traditional marriage, and I hope the states, where the debate had been for more than 200 years, will uphold marriage between one man and one woman.”


DES MOINES — Sen. Jack Hatch released the following statement following the United States Supreme Court’s opinions in the Defense of Marriage Act and California Proposition 8 cases today:

“Today’s victory for marriage equality is not only an affirmation of our values as Iowans but a hard-earned triumph for advocates and citizens who have fought so hard for equality in Iowa and across the country.” 

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About O.Kay Henderson

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


  1. I get sick of hearing Vander Plaat’s opinion. Who is he? He is not an elected representative. Not even an elected dog catcher. He’s a private citizen like me. Why?, do you keep giving him this attention and stroking his ego? The people of Iowa have spoken many a time and denied him from having any kind of official, elected office in the state.