The National Organization for Marriage
has joined the effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who
voted in favor of gay marriage.
The group, which contributed heavily to
the campaigns to roll back gay marriage in Maine and California,
announced Thursday that they will contribute $235,000 toward a
statewide television and radio ad buy in support of the effort.
“The people of Iowa do not support
gay marriage and are rightly outraged at the court's ruling last year
concocting a new constitutional right and substituting their values
for those of Iowa's citizenry,” NOM President Brian Brown said in a
Voters will decide in November whether
to keep Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and
Michael Streit. The remaining four judges are not on the ballot this
The campaign to remove the judges kept
a low profile until last month when former gubernatorial candidate
Bob Vander Plaats announced plans to spearhead the movement. The
Sioux City businessman has rented office space and hired six staffers
to man his Iowa for Freedom campaign.
Vander Plaats, who came close to
winning the Republican primary with a campaign that focused on social
issues, including repeal of the court's unanimous April 2009 ruling
that brought gay marriage to the Midwest, says the judges should be
removed because they overstepped their authority.
“They voided the law and it should
have gone back to the legislature,” he said on KCCI's Newsmakers.
“We saw the Supreme Court go outside its jurisdiction. The
legislature is responsible for creating all laws. [Iowa for Freedom]
truly believes the [court] usurped the will of the people.”
“All power is inherent in the people,
not the courts,” he added. “This is a great civics lesson on who
makes law, executes law and amends the constitution.”
The campaign has the endorsement of
three Republican 2012 presidential hopefuls. Minnesota
Governor Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former
Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum are in favor of axing the
judges for deciding in favor of gay marriage.
But retired Supreme Court Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor has spoken out against the effort, stressing the
need for courts to remain free from politics.