A resolution that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman was tabled at a Sioux City, Iowa city council meeting last night. According to the Des Moines Register the city does not have legal authority to define marriage and its passage would have had symbolic impact, but would have only reiterated existing state laws.
A significant number of people attended the meeting to speak on the issue, but the resolution was tabled after a few minutes of debate because of concern that the resolution could cause lawsuits to be filed against the city, according to the Chicago Tribune. In response to the vote to table the resolution, Connie Nelson, a community member who attended the meeting, told ABC 9 News that “you can’t un-ring the bell and once you have a room full of people that have come down to speak on a topic, I think it is then dismissive of their input to table the motion when clearly people were there to talk about it and I think they should have been heard.”
The council’s position on same-sex marriage is particularly relevant right now because of a case currently before the Iowa Supreme Court that challenges the states’ same-sex marriage ban. While this case will not be decided for a few months, gay rights advocates are hopeful that the court will follow the lead of other state supreme courts and declare the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. This decision could make Iowa the third state in the US to permit same-sex marriage.