Iowa voters kick out judges who favored gay marriage

Wed. November 3, 2010 10:05 AM by

Des Moines, IA - Iowa voters on Tuesday ousted three Iowa Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage, the AP reported.

The three judges were targeted by social conservatives furious at the court's 2009 unanimous decision that brought gay marriage to the Midwest.

Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit were voted off the bench. The other four judges were not on the ballot this year.

Under Iowa's system, justices are appointed by the governor, but voters decide whether to retain judges to an 8 year term.

The campaign to remove the judges from the bench was spearheaded by Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats, who launched the Iowa for Freedom campaign after losing the Republican nomination for governor. Vander Plaats' campaign was heavily financed by out-of-state anti-gay marriage groups, including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, the Family Research Council (FRC), and the Christian-based American Family Association (AFA). NOM had previously worked to repeal gay marriage laws in California and Maine.

"I think it will send a message across the country that the power resides with the people," Vander Plaats told a crowd of supporters Tuesday night. "It's we the people, not we the courts."

Opponents of axing the judges argued that the move will politicize the court.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine