Gay Marriage Foes Vow to Oust Iowa Judges

Launch campaign to defeat justices who legalized it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2010 12:45 PM CDT
Gay Marriage Foes Vow to Oust Iowa Judges
Peggy Staley, of Charter Oak, Iowa, holds a sign during an anti-gay marriage rally, Monday, April 13, 2009, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Opponents of same-sex marriage have launched a full-scale campaign to vote out the Iowa Supreme Court justices whose ruling legalized the practice. “We need to vote them off the bench to send a message across Iowa that we, the people, still have the power,” Bob Vander Plaats, the Republican politician heading the effort, tells the Washington Post. His staff is planning a full range of mailers, phone calls, and door-to-door campaigning.

Ousting the judges wouldn’t overturn their ruling, but gay rights activists call the effort unjust. Says the director of one gay advocacy group, "Opponents of same-sex marriage are going to grab hold of this and run with it, and it will be a big battle ax that they can shake around and say, 'You're next,'” Legal experts, meanwhile, worry about the precedent it’ll set. Sandra Day O’Connor is set to speak against the campaign next month; she’s decried judicial elections in the past, saying they create “politicians in robes.” (Read more gay marriage stories.)

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