Democrat attempts to redefine marriage

Definition of MarriageBy Bob Eschliman


It’s not uncommon for Christian conservatives to lob the accusation that liberals are attempting to “redefine marriage,” but a new bill filed in the Iowa House of Representatives – by a liberal Democrat – appears to do exactly that.

House File 253, filed today by state Rep. Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City), would not only redefine marriage, it would codify that definition, making it very difficult to overturn, if approved. The bill has no other cosponsors.

Mascher has not yet responded to a request for comment from The Iowa Statesman. If she does, we will update this article, as appropriate.

Although homosexual “marriages” take place in Iowa, currently Iowa Code Chapter 595, which deals with marriage, uses terms such as “man,” “woman,” “husband,” and “wife.” HF 253 would replace those terms with the gender-neutral phrases “party” and “spouse.”

It states that any two “parties” who otherwise meet the requirements of Chapter 595 may marry each other. The bill leaves in provisions that allow for underage marriage with judicial approval, meaning two same-sex teenagers could “marry,” if the bill were approved and a judge deemed “the underage party or parties capable of assuming the responsibilities of marriage and that the marriage will serve the best interest of the underage party or parties.”

It further states that even if a parent withholds permission for a “marriage” between two homosexuals, a judge may grant a marriage license “if the consent has been unreasonably withheld.”

HF 253 also “codifies” the definition of marriage, making it apply to all other marriage-related laws currently on the books in Iowa. Its explanatory statement reads:

“The bill also provides that marriage is the legally recognized union of two eligible parties and that terms relating to the marital relationship or familial relationships shall be construed consistently with this provision for all purposes throughout the law, whether in the context of statute, administrative or court rule, government policy, common law, or any other source of civil or criminal law.”

Although there have yet to be any lobbyist declarations on the bill, it faces a likely death in the House Judiciary Committee. Still, Michael Demastus, a Des Moines pastor who has been outspoken on the issue of marriage isn’t so sure that’s the intent of the bill.

“This is one more full frontal assault in the ongoing battle for the soul of the family,” he said. “The Left is determined to take as much ground as possible in this battle. I think a bill like this is not necessarily intended to be a win – if so, that is just an added bonus – but I think it is more a testing of the waters to gauge public opinion. If there is a strong outcry, then maybe the timing is off, but if there is silence, then the timing couldn’t be more appropriate [to them].”