HRC Blog

NOM Joins American Family Association Spending Thousands to Oust Iowa Judges

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which has a history of trying to defeat pro-equality state candidates in Iowa, this week reported spending more than $235,000 on a television ad that targets three justices on the Iowa Supreme Court who were part of a unanimous 2009 decision ruling that the equal protection provision of the Iowa Constitution guarantees gay and lesbian couples the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. NOM's expenditure became public in an independent expenditure report filed with the state this week. NOM joined the American Family Association, referred to as "among the most vigilant and vicious and anti-gay activists operating today" by the Right-Wing Watch, in supporting the efforts of the AFA-affiliated Iowa for Freedom. Led by former Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Vander Plaats, Iowa for Freedom has targeted three Supreme Court justices facing a judicial retention election in November. 

"This is the same old NOM playbook," said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese. "This was a unanimous decision, an impartial decision, a decision based on the state constitution of Iowa. But none of that matters to NOM, which will go anywhere and spend unlimited resources to spread fear. Now they're trying to intimidate judges whose job it is to interpret the law. Shame on them." The ad, entitled, "Send Them a Message" is on YouTube. According to the Iowa Independent, in a joint radio appearance with Bryan Fischer, the director of issue analysis for government and public policy, Vander Plaats agreed that the effort to outset the judges was "the single most important election this Nov. 2."

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