Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has
joined Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in backing gay marriage foes'
campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges off the bench, the
Iowa Independent reported.
A low-lying campaign to remove the
judges has been underway since the court's April 2009 unanimous
ruling that brought gay marriage to the Midwest. But the effort has
grown wings since former gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats, a
Republican, announced he'll work against the judge's retention.
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.
“Iowans are unique in that they have
the ability to send a very clear and simple message that the court's
behavior is unacceptable by just voting 'no' on the three judges who
are up for reappointment,” Gingrich said in an interview with
WHO-AM. “If a majority of Iowans vote 'no,' that will send a
signal to the whole county that there is a citizens revolt under
“We're going to have to fundamentally
revisit how we deal with judges because the judicial branch has grown
much too powerful and much too dictatorial and now regularly over
reaches in telling us how to live,” he added.
Pawlenty expressed a similar sentiment
in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. He said
the does not like judges “inserting their personal views to change”
the definition of marriage and added that he was OK with the campaign
to oust the judges.
In May, Pawlenty
vetoed 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.
Reacting to the California ruling last
renewed a call for placing a gay marriage ban in the U.S.
“Judge Walker's ruling overturning
Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the
majority of people of the United States who believe marriage is the
union of husband and wife,” Gingrich wrote on his website.
“Congress now has the responsibility
to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one
woman as our national policy.”
Both men are considered potential
Republican 2012 presidential candidates.