In a sign of where the debate is going, governor Chet Culver, while retaining his own religious view that gay couples' marriages are not valid, nonetheless
said the issue before the court in its unanimous ruling Friday involved only civil marriage, and that churches and other religious institutions do not have to perform them. "The court also concluded that the denial of this right constitutes discrimination," Culver said. "Therefore, after careful consideration and a thorough reading of the court's decision, I am reluctant to support amending the Iowa Constitution to add a provision that our Supreme Court has said is unlawful and discriminatory."
A man who can understand the distinction between civil law and religious doctrine. Money quote from Culver's statement:
“As Governor, I must respect the authority of the Iowa Supreme Court, and have a duty to uphold the Constitution of the State of Iowa. I also fully respect the right of all Iowans to live under the full protection of Iowa’s Constitution.
“I urge Iowans who hold beliefs on all sides of this issue to exhibit respect and good will. Our state faces many serious challenges. We are in the midst of a serious economic recession. Tens of thousands of our fellow Iowans are without work. We have suffered the worst natural disasters and most difficult recovery our state has ever faced. We must join together and redouble our efforts to work toward solutions that will help Iowans in this time of uncertainty. That is where, I believe, my focus and energies should lie. “Let us not lose sight of the fact that we are all Iowans, all neighbors, united in the promise and faith of a brighter future for our state. Let us all work together toward that common goal.”