Even though Iowan Republicans are close to capturing both houses of the state legislature and have crowed that they'd quickly attempt to roll back marriage equality rights, it seems they're having second thoughts.
Conservative lawmakers are watching public opinion move away from them on the gay marriage issue, and now fear that voters might not approve a ban even if the GOP can put one on the ballot by winning control of the Legislature in the November elections.
"People are getting comfortable with it and that's a shame to tell you the truth," said Susan Geddes, an Iowa Republican and social conservative organizer who worked for Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign in the state.
Even Republicans seem to be more accepting, said Julie Summa marketing director for The Family Leader, a social conservative advocacy group. She and other evangelical leaders attribute the change to libertarian Republicans, like supporters Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who oppose restrictions on personal freedoms.
But the legislative process would take at least two years, and public interest in the cause is already declining. A Des Moines Register poll in February showed 56 percent of Iowans opposed an amendment banning gay marriage, up slightly from a year earlier. The results tracked with the trend in national opinion on the issue.
Indiana politicians, both Democrat and Republican, are continuing to beat the anti-gay drum. Both gubernatorial candidates have expressed support for a constitutional amendment - as have both Senate candidates. Polling in the Hoosier state mirror Iowa's growing acceptance of marriage equality.
(Iowa roadsign via Bigstock)