Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty says
he's OK with gay marriage foes' campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme
Court judges off the bench, the AP reported.
Pawlenty, who was on his fourth trip to
Iowa since announcing he was not seeking a third term as governor,
said the Iowa Constitution allows voters to oust judges they don't
“It's the right and privilege of the
citizens of this state and my state to weigh in on whether they like
or don't like the job that a judge is doing and to agree or disagree
with him,” he told the AP.
Former gubernatorial candidate Bob
Vander Plaats, a Republican, recently announced that he'll work to
oust three of the seven judges who unanimously legalized gay marriage
in Iowa last year. Voters will decide in November whether to keep
Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael
Streit. The remaining judges are not on the ballot this year.
Vander Plaats said a federal judge's
ruling that declared California's gay marriage ban unconstitutional
motivated him to act.
“If the judges can do this to
marriage, every one of your freedoms is up for grabs,” he said in
announcing his plans.
Pawlenty also said he does not like
judges “inserting their personal views to change” the definition
In May, Pawlenty
voted a bill that would have allowed gay couples to control the
remains of a loved one. “I oppose efforts to treat domestic
relationships as the equivalent of traditional marriage,” he said
in opposing the bill.
Analysts say Pawlenty's frequent visits
to Iowa suggest he's considering a run for the Republican
presidential nomination in 2012.