Iowans Reject Cynical Attempt to Politicize the Courts

by Charles Joughin

Despite Massive Campaign by Anti-Equality Forces, Voters Retain Marriage Equality Supreme Court Justice

WASHINGTON – Together with voters across the country who overwhelming supported equality at the ballot box yesterday, Iowans voted to retain State Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, who joined the unanimous 2009 decision of that court that brought marriage equality to the Hawkeye State.  In 2008, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and other anti-equality groups mounted an unprecedented $600,000 campaign attacking three of Justice Wiggins's colleagues during their retention elections.  All three lost their seats.

This year, NOM and their allies again invested an exorbitant sum to oust Justice Wiggins, but with the help of many supporters including the Human Rights Campaign, their cynical efforts were defeated.

“Iowans have made a strong statement for judicial independence and refused to let politics get in the way of judges doing their duty to uphold the law," said HRC President Chad Griffin.  "Right-wing groups trying to exact political retribution on judges should learn their lesson.  Marriage equality remains the law of the land in Iowa and judges will continue to do their jobs.”       

HRC contributed $145,000 for the retention campaign.  Anti-equality zealots spent nearly $500,000 on their failed attack on judicial independence in Iowa.  NOM invested more than $148,332 in this race, and Iowans for Freedom, a group headed by Bob Vander Plaats, spent an additional $317,000.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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