American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Iowa Judge Targeted For Marriage Equality Decision

In one week, a vote will take place on marriage for gay and lesbian couples in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. But those aren’t the only states where equality and fairness are on the ballot.

Voters will also decide the fate of Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, who was part of the unanimous decision that brought marriage equality to the heartland.

The so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM) waged an all-out war on the Iowa Supreme Court justices who struck down the state’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples in 2009.

When three justices lost their seats in a 2010 election, it was the first time an Iowa Supreme Court justice lost his or her seat since the current system went into effect in 1962. Funded primarily by radical out-of state groups, the campaigns supporting the justices were outspent by over two to one.

Now Justice Wiggins is being targeted by groups like NOM for his vote for marriage equality.

Current polling is tight. Needing 50 percent to keep his seat, the latest PPP survey indicates 43 percent of Iowans said they would vote “no,” while 37 percent said they would support keeping the justice. A Des Moines Register Iowa Poll released on October 1 showed that 41 percent would vote to oust the justice, with 49 percent voting to keep him in office. Nine percent were unsure and 1 percent planned on skipping the question.