Johnson County supervisors pass resolution supporting same-sex marriage

Board's newcomer casts lone dissenting vote on resolution

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors on Thursday came down in favor of same-sex marriage – an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court this week – but the decision was not unanimous.

The supervisors voted 4-1 in support of a proclamation saying they backed “marriage equality for same-sex couples and urge the Supreme Court of the United States to once again rule in favor of marriage as a basic civil right.”

John Etheredge cast the dissenting vote, with his only comment being his “nay” during the roll call. Etheredge was elected to the board this month and is a Republican, the first member of that party elected a Johnson County supervisor in 55 years.

Supervisor Rod Sullivan proposed the proclamation, and the affirmative vote authorized board Chairwoman Janelle Rettig to sign it. Rettig is a lesbian and is married. Her spouse was in the crowd Thursday.

The supervisors have weighed in on gay marriage before. In 2009, the supervisors voted to send a letter to other Iowa counties in support of the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.Pat Harney voted against that proposal. But he voted for the proclamation Thursday and said no matter whether someone believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, the issue was about everyone receiving the same rights, so he would support it.

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