Gronstal promises to block gay marriage debate

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) — Gay marriage will again be a topic during the legislative session beginning Jan. 9, but the top Senate Democrat says he will block debate over the issue.

As he’s done in previous sessions, Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal says he intends to stop action on a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Senate Minority Leader Jerry Behn says Republicans will bring up the matter again. He argues people deserve a vote on the issue.

Lawmakers would need to vote in 2012 and 2013 before a proposed constitutional amendment could go to voters.

Despite disagreement over gay marriage Gronstal and Behn say they are working to avoid a repeat of the lengthy 2011 session.

The lawmakers spoke Thursday during a taping of the Iowa Public Television program, “Iowa Press.”