Voters retain Iowa justice who backed gay marriage


November 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa voters have retained state Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, who faced opposition because he supported a unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized gay marriage in Iowa. Social conservatives campaigned to oust Wiggins because of the ruling, following their success in removing three of his colleagues two years ago. Liberal groups and the Iowa State Bar Association worked to keep Wiggins on the bench.

The vote on Wiggins’ retention is considered a barometer for the public’s changing views on gay marriage and a flashpoint in the debate over the role of courts in American life. Wiggins joined six colleagues to declare that a state law banning gay marriage violated the equal-protection clause of Iowa’s constitution. The decision made Iowa the first Midwestern state to legalize gay marriage.