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Conservatives still fuming as Iowa heads towards its first gay marriages

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Iowa became the first Midwestern state to allow gay marriage on April 3 but conservatives are still expressing disdain over the decision.

The state will see a formalisation of this issue on 27 April and from then on, same-sex couples can begin to seek marriage licenses.

Former New York Governor, George Pataki denounced this decision on Tuesday during a conference call in advance of a speech he will give today.

The republicans speech marks the opening of a lecture series at Drake University sponsored by the American Futures Fund, a non-profit group that supports conservative issues.

Speaking with reporters, Patki criticised the ruling and said: “”Whether you agree with the decision or disagree with the decision, it’s wrong for the judiciary to overstep its role,” said Pataki.

He compared Iowa with New York’s current debate on legalising gay marriage.

“That’s the way to make policy determinations. You want to have the elected representatives of the people vote when you make policy decisions,” said Mr Pataki.

Separately, Norm Pawlewski, a lobbyist for the Iowa Christian Alliance, released a letter he sent to Justice David Wiggins chastising his decision and labelling the court pro-gay rights.

“It may be of value for you to remember how you got to where you are and admit that you have a human frailty that can sometimes lead to promoting an agenda that may not be in the best interests of Iowa’s people,” Pawlewski wrote. “You are, after all, only a lawyer in a black robe,

“I knew what your decision was going to be before you got the case,” wrote Mr Pawlewski.

Pawlewski described a random meeting the two had at the Statehouse in the letter:

“You accused me of hatred toward Supreme Court Justices,” Pawlewski wrote but the decision “does not on my part show hatred for your court, it does engender a deep sadness and a profound distrust.”

Steve Davis, the court spokesman said the court would not comment on the letter. As for the Supreme Court’s decision, Davis said, “The opinion speaks for itself.”

According to the Associate Press, the Iowa Family Policy Centre has begun to circulate petitions labelling the decision “misguided” and condemning lawmakers for not intervening. It asks county recorders “to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on April 27, 2009, and every day after until such conflict between the Supreme Court’s decision and the law is addressed by a vote of the people of Iowa.”

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has warned local officials they have no choice however but to abide by the decision.

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