Victory in Iowa a win for the freedom to marry

Last night’s election of Democrat Liz Mathis to the Iowa state Senate was an enormous victory for the freedom to marry both within the state and across the nation. Mathis defeated Republican Cindy Golding by a 56% to 44% vote to represent Iowa’s District 18, ensuring Democratic control of the state Senate.

Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, had this to say about the results:
 
“Today’s election of Liz Mathis is a tremendous victory for the state of Iowa.  The voters rebuffed the anti-gay attacks that sought to make undoing the freedom to marry a critical factor in the race, and instead elected a candidate who supports the freedom to marry for all Iowa families.  One Iowa worked hard to make sure that marriage remains secure in Iowa and to elect a legislator who will focus on the real challen
ges confronting the state.  Freedom to Marry looks forward to working with One Iowa to continue telling the stories of families strengthened by marriage in Iowa, and growing support for fairness and respect for all."

The special election was crucial because it presented a possible shift in the balance of power in the Iowa state Senate by creating a tie in Republican and Democratic leadership, which could have caused Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal to lose control of the chamber. Gronstal has promised that as long as he retains his position, he will make sure that a state constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples will not be introduced. With the addition of Mathis, Democrats retain a 26-24 majority throughout the 2012 legislative session.

Iowa extended the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples following a ruling by the state Supreme Court in 2009 finding the denial of marriage to be against the state’s constitution. 

Click here to read about Freedom to Marry’s Roadmap to Victory and other ways in which we are working to preserve marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Iowa and the rest of the country.