Iowa lawmaker wants state parks to exclude gay families

Mon. May 10, 2010 12:00 AM by

Des Moines, IA - An Iowa lawmaker is opposed to altering state park policies to include gay families, RadioIowa reported.

Senator Merlin Bartz calls allowing gay couples to be counted as a family at state parks is going too far.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is planning to recognize gay families in their policy that allows families to put up more than one tent on a camp site.

"They're citing the Supreme Court case and changing, you know, 'husband and wife' language to 'spouse,'" Bartz said referring to last year's unanimous ruling by the court legalizing gay marriage.

Kevin Baskins of the DNR told local ABC affiliate KAAL that its move was simply to comply with state policy that prevents discrimination.

"The language that we are changing brings us up to speed with what the state definition is," he said.

Bartz, a Republican who is opposed to gay marriage, has directed DNR officials to explain their proposal at a Monday meeting of the Legislature's Administrative Rules Review Committee, of which he is a member.

Bartz is a leading voice of opposition to gay marriage in the Senate. Last year, he called for county recorders to reject gay couples seeking a marriage license. Ultimately, no gay or lesbian couple was denied a license.

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