LGBT Advocates Blast Special Interests' Campaign To Intimidate Judges Nationwide
San Francisco's Castro Theatre hosted a popcorn party
to celebrate back in 2009 to celebrate the justices' decision, who ruled that a law barring same-sex marriage violated the Midwestern state's constitution. Yet after a huge campaign largely funded by out-of-state
anti-gay marriage organizations, voters decided the
ruling wasn't worth celebration, but censure. It's the first time a
judge hasn't been retained since 1962 when the state first instituted
the retention voting system, according to the Des Moines Register.
The huge shift to the right in yesterday's election probably doesn't bode well for any LGBT-friendly legislation coming down the pipeline.
But perhaps the harshest rebuke of those who support LGBT rights came from Iowa yesterday: voters ousted the three Iowa State Supreme Court justices who decided in favor of gay marriages last year.
The retention challenge triggered a battle never seen in Iowa's judicial history. Television, radio and Internet ads portrayed the justices as both activists and referees. Robo-calls urged a "no" vote. U.S. Rep. Steve King embarked on a statewide bus tour to rally "no" voters.Given that booting the judges doesn't stop gay marriage in the state - a constitutional amendment would be necessary for that - gay marriage advocates say this campaign was about something much more sinister: an attempt to intimidate judges across the country into ruling against gay marriage.
"Many people that have commented on what we're going through right now, especially with the Proposition 8 case in California, are looking at the Iowa judicial retention election - and even though there are many important elections about the country - they're actually saying this is the most important election because it will send a clear signal to the Supreme Court and other judges that they don't have the right to make up the law out of thin air. Their job is to interpret the law, it is not to be out robed masters and judicial activists imposing their will on the rest of us.
Time will only tell what affect if any this may have here in California.
And so if the people of Iowa do what I think they'll do and stand up and remove these judges, there will be reverberations throughout the country all the way to the United States Supreme Court."