IOWA: Justice Who Ruled In Favor Of Gay Marriage Retained By Voters
LGBTQ Nation reports:
Iowa’s voters have retained Justice David Wiggins on the Iowa Supreme Court, following a heated campaign by marriage equality opponents who sought to remove him from the bench following the unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa.
Wiggins needed a simple majority of votes to stay on high court — he received 54 percent, with 83 percent of Iowa’s 1,689 precincts reporting,
In an interview late Tuesday with the Des Moines Register, Iowa State Bar Association spokesperson Cynthia Moser said, “As I understand the numbers, I think we did get a decisive win” that hopefully will prevent future challenges to judges.
“We’re very pleased with the numbers we received,” she said.
Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Iowans For Freedom committee that spearheaded a campaign to oust Wiggins, conceded defeat late Tuesday, bu said the “small” margin for retention was “not a great validation for Justice Wiggins.”
Thousands of voters on Tuesday repeated the message sent two years ago that they didn’t want the courts to make law, Vander Plaats said. “I think the courts understand that people of Iowa still have a voice if they chose to go outside their constitutional boundaries.”
Wiggins was the fourth Iowa Supreme Court justice to stand for a retention vote since seven justices unanimously ruled to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009.
Three former justices — Marsha Ternus, David Baker and Michael Streit — were ousted in 2010 after socially conservative Iowans, backed by cash from out-of-state anti-gay groups, principally the National Orgainsation for Marriage, convinced voters that the same-sex marriage decision was grounds for their removal.
Both sides, using money from both Iowans and those elsewhere, spent heavily on automated phone calls, videos, mailings and other campaign trappings, including September bus tours across the state. The “No Wiggins” bus tour attracted Republican heavyweights who sought to drum up turnout for the presidential race as well as to encourage the campaign against Wiggins.
Des Moines Register →
“Iowans have made a strong statement for judicial independence and refused to letpolitics get in the way of judges doing their duty to uphold the law,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, in a statement.
“Right-wing groups trying to exact political retribution on judges should learn their lesson. Marriage equality remains the law of the land in Iowa and judges will continue to do their jobs,” said Griffin.
USA: Marriage Equality Wins In Washington State
LGBTQ Nation reports:
In a sweep for marriage equality, voters in Washington state approved Referendum74, affirming the state’s same-sex marriage law, and giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry.
Washington state joins Maryland and Maine in becoming one of only three states to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot box. Maryland and Maine voters approved their measures tonight as well.
USA: President Barack Obama REELECTED
The New York Times reports:
Barack Obama was re-elected as president on Tuesday, the television networks projected, defeating Mitt Romney after a long, hard-fought campaign that centered on who would heal the battered economy and on what role government should play in the 21st century.
The president’s official Twitter account quickly posted: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News all projected that Mr. Obama would defeat Mr. Romney after concluding that he would win the necessary 270 electoral votes.Mr. Obama carried New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and was projected by television networks to win Wisconsin, three states Mr. Romney had pursued to block Mr. Obama’s re-election.As a succession of states fell away from Mr. Romney, a hush fell over his Boston headquarters. Advisers sounded uncharacteristically pessimistic about what they acknowledged were dwindling chances of winning an Electoral College majority.The mood at the Obama campaign in Chicago was optimistic as the outcome of the hard-fought presidential race was dependent on Mr. Romney’s running the table in the rest of the competitive battleground states.Americans delivered a final judgment on a long and bitter campaign that drew so many people to the polls that several key states extended voting for hours. In Virginia and Florida, long lines stretched from polling places, with the Obama campaign sending text messages to supporters in those areas, saying: “You can still vote.”The state-by-state pursuit of the 270 electoral votes was being closely tracked by both campaigns, with Mr. Romney winning North Carolina and Indiana, which Mr. Obama carried four years ago. But Mr. Obama won Michigan, the state where Mr. Romney was born, and Minnesota, a pair of states that Republican groups had spent millions of dollars trying to make competitive.The contests were hanging on the outcome of only a few key counties in the battleground states. In Florida, for example, the two candidates were separated by only thousands of votes out of more than six million ballots cast, with nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting.The top issue on the minds of voters was the economy, according to interviews, with three-quarters of those surveyed saying that economic conditions were not good or poor. But only 3 in 10 said things were getting worse, and 4 in 10 said the economy was improving.
MASSACHUSETTS: Salute Senator Elizabeth Warren
Sending home GOP’s hero Sen. Scott Brown.
The Huffington Post reports:
Elizabeth Warren defeated Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) Tuesday in the race for U.S. Senate, NBC News and CBS News projected.
The Harvard Law professor and consumer advocate had narrowly been favored in recent days, as polls showed her with a slight lead over the incumbent senator.
Warren was the intellectual godmother of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and was its first head. She was denied a permanent appointment due to objections from congressional Republicans and from within the Treasury Department.
WISCONSIN: State Elects Tammy Baldwin, First Openly Gay Senator In US History
Wisconsinites indulged in some grotesque anti-lobbyist prejudice today and chose seven-term openly gay congresswoman Tammy Baldwin over Tommy Thompson to replace Democrat Herb Kohl in the Senate. Baldwin had a huge fundraising advantage throughout the race, and she used the money to portray Thompson, who may have been remembered fondly by some as the state’s former governor, as the health care company consultant he has been for years. Thompson, for his part, blamed the lobbying on his wife’s spending habits. Women!
Baldwin is a progressive solid enough to have voted against authorizing the Iraq War and against a pro-Patriot Act resolution masquerading as pro-veteran. She wrote the part of the Affordable Care Act that lets adults stay on their parents’ health care coverage until they’re 26. Her sexual orientation wasn’t an issue during the campaign, but Baldwin isn’t averse to talking about it. “If you are not in the room, the conversation is about you,” she told The Guardianthis week. “If you are in the room, the conversation is with you. We never had an openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate, and even though there are strong pro-equality allies who serve there, it has always been a conversation about a group of people. So this changes everything.”