Yesterday, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke out against an anti-gay campaign to remove three members of the Iowa Supreme Court in retaliation against the court’s unanimous marriage equality decision:
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Wednesday defended Iowa’s method of selecting judges and urged voters to reject an effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices who joined in a unanimous decision striking down a ban on gay marriage.
Speaking in Des Moines as part of a panel organized by the Iowa State Bar Association, O’Connor said voters shouldn’t punish judges when they disagree with their decisions.
“We have to address the pressures that are being applied to that safe place, the courtroom,” O’Connor said. “The judges should not be subject to retaliation.“
Yet Iowa For Freedom (IFF), the organization spearheading the anti-gay campaign, responded almost immediately with a press release claiming that O’Connor actually said the exact opposite of what she really said. IFF’s release “Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor supporting its cause” and “thank[s] former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Wednesday for supporting Iowa For Freedom’s efforts.”
IFF’s blatant misrepresentation of O’Connor’s opposition to their campaign is the least of their questionable decisions. IFF’s anti-gay campaign received considerable support from the American Family Association, a Mississippi-based hate group which claims that Adolf Hitler and “virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals” and that marriage equality causes crop failure.
Indeed, the AFA may be the single most important force behind Iowa’s anti-gay campaign. They recently announced that they “put a couple of hundred thousand dollars into this campaign,” IFF’s false press release indicates that it is “Paid for by AFA Action,” the AFA’s political arm, and the IFF’s website used to indicate that it was funded by AFA Action — although this indication appears to have been removed.
So Iowa’s anti-gay campaign isn’t just willing to falsely claim the support of one of its most prominent opponents, it also shamelessly accepts support from one of the most repulsive fabricators of anti-gay hate speech.