The (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act is sitting in the United States Senate awaiting a vote. Senators agreed to wait to vote on the measure until after the midterm elections, which should concern all conservatives because it suggests senators want to pass the bill, but they don’t want accountability in the form of an election following the vote.
Iowa’s senators — Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst — haven’t said where they stand on the issue. Ernst, though, was considered a “possible yes” on the bill and Grassley hasn’t said where he stands.
In July, Grassley said there are no pending court decisions that would strip away the current national right to gay marriage. Grassley said the right to homosexual marriage “is not currently an issue.”
In August, Grassley criticized Justice Clarence Thomas who he said “made this an issue that it doesn’t have to be an issue.”
“All these are now law of the land and none of them are being challenged,” Grassley said. “I don’t think we should have to do it because it’s the law of the land and nobody has to worry about same-sex marriages being legal and constitutional…If it hadn’t been for Justice Thomas raising this issue not in the main opinion but in his sidebar opinion — what you call a concurrence opinion — we wouldn’t even be talking about this today.”
Those comments are in obvious contrast to what Grassley said in 2015 after the Obergefell decision forced homosexual marriage on the country.
In 2015, Grassley said traditional marriage has been a “pillar of our society for thousands of years” that remained constant across cultures even with the rise and fall of nations.
“I believe marriage is between one man and one woman. Marriage is a sacred institution. Its definition should not be subject to the whims of the Supreme Court where five justices appointed to interpret the Constitution instead imposed social and political values inconsistent with the text of the Constitution and the framers’ intent. Today’s decision robs the right of citizens to define marriage through the democratic process.”
Grassley even suggested Obergefell would only be the law of the land “for now.”
“History has taught us that a cultural debate like this one will not be settled with this ruling,” Grassley said. “I expect we will be debating marriage for years to come.”
In 2015, it is clear Grassley got it — or at least knew what to say and what conservative Iowans wanted to hear.
In 2022, it isn’t clear, at all. Grassley should announce his position on the (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act rather than hide it.