DES MOINES, IOWA — After the United States Supreme Court decision came down to overturn Roe v. Wade, some people are nervous other rights could be next.

The concern stems from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas language in his concurring opinion in the Roe v. Wade case. The opinion is what pushed Democrats to attempt to codify same-sex marriage and interracial marriage in the “Respect for Marriage Act” which passed the U.S. House on Tuesday night.

The Senate will be more difficult to pass the legislation through, as Democrats need 10 Republicans to cross party lines to avoid filibuster. The U.S. Senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, commented on the House vote.

“It is the law of the land and there is a bill that passed the House of Representatives, I haven’t had a chance to read that bill yet, but I am going to study the text of the house bill and we will wait to see if it comes up for a vote in the United States Senate,” said Grassley (R) Iowa, “But even if the bill was to be passed and signed by the president right this very day. It is not going to change the supreme court decision that is the law of the land.”

Senator Grassley did not indicate which way he would vote if the bill made it to the floor of the Senate. But he did reiterate that he accepts the ruling of the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court has made a decision that gay marriages are constitutional and they are constitutional in every state and I accept the supreme court decision,” said Grassley

Grassley was at the Family Leadership Summit last Friday. On Wednesday The Family Leader put out a statement in response to the U.S. House vote.

“Last night the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the truth that marriage is between one man and one woman. Especially disappointing, three of Iowa’s representatives (Axne, Hinson and Miller-Meeks) voted in favor to redefine marriage. Congresswoman Hinson and Miller-Meeks were among the minority of Republicans who chose to do so. Thank you to Rep. Randy Feenstra for standing strong for truth and voting no. We urge Senators Grassley and Ernst to oppose the redefinition of marriage.”

The Family Leader

A man in the Des Moines metro has been living through the progress of the last decade-plus of advancements of LGBTQ rights. He shared what is was like to be a gay man in Iowa before the state supreme court ruled on it.

“I think, you know, living in a place where, where legal marriage for me wasn’t acceptable, felt kind of oppressive,” said Steve Sanda from Des Moines. “It felt like there was something wrong with me according to the society that I lived in, that meant that I wasn’t empowered or enabled to be in love.” 

Sanda expressed his emotions of same-sex marriage becoming legal in Iowa in 2009 and then eventually at the federal level. But Sanda says that now it seems to be going backwards from all the progress over the years.

“When it comes to love, how and why is that a legal issue? If I am in love with someone with a partner who happens to be the same sex as me, what risk does that have to you or anyone else? If I am happy and engaged in a loving family, the biggest risk you might have is I might smile, high five you, or give you a hug. And if that is a challenge for you, you might need to look into that,” said Sanda.

One Iowa released a statement on Wednesday following the House vote as well.

“Yesterday’s bipartisan vote in support of the Respect for Marriage Act is an important step to protect LGBTQ families. We have had many people reach out to us in fear over the past few weeks, and this will help ease that fear immensely. We call on the Senate to move this legislation forward.”

Courtney Reyes (she/her) Executive Director, One Iowa

The bill is not guaranteed to see the Senate floor for a vote and lawmakers have a month long recess at the start of August, so the future of that House legislation is uncertain.