A handful of conservative “family values” organizations have embarked on a bus tour across Iowa, urging voters to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who overturned an Iowa statute banning same-sex marriage in April 2009. Prominent Republicans like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have endorsed the campaign and Reps. Steven King (R-IA) and Louis Gohmert (R-TX) are making personal appearances on tour. Santorum is expected to also join the bus later this week.
And while the politicians enveloped their opposition to same-sex marriage in democracy — allowing Iowans to vote on the issue — Arisha Michelle Hatch of Prop 8 Trial Tracker got a better taste of the kind of constituency this whose-who of conservative politics is attracting. As it turns out, the relatively small crowds have no qualms about “revealing their views on man/animal marriage, disease-carrying nasty gays, and sodomy-marriage.” Below are some highlights:
RON: “[Gay people] don’t do anything for society. They’re only a drain on society, so much so that the medical profession recognizes that they’re a disease carrying nasty threat to society and are not allowed to donate blood. That’s my position.”
DAVE: “Can I marry your camera? I mean, I really like cameras. I love cameras. Okay? Can I marry my camera? …Triangles and squares, round pegs and square pegs, man and woman, okay?…Why not marry goats, why not marry my camera…”
DON: “Sodomy causes AIDS, okay? And AIDS is a serious problem in this nation as well as around the world.
As of October 4th, the Iowa Poll found that “44 percent of Iowans who plan to vote in the election say they’ll vote ‘yes’ [to retain] to all three justices. Forty percent will vote to remove the judges, while 16 percent say they want to retain some.”
In April 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously upheld a District Court’s ruling that the Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman “violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.” “We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective,” Justice Mark S. Cady wrote for the Iowa court. “The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification.”