Hundreds of Anti-Gay Bigots Push Iowa High Court on Marriage


Hundreds of people took part in a “prayer walk” at the Iowa State House in Des Moines coinciding with a State of the Judiciary Speech given by Iowa Supreme Court Justice Marsha Ternus and then gathered en masse in the State House rotunda in an attempt to influence the Supreme Court in its decision regarding the same-sex marriage ruling that came down last August, the Des Moines Register reports.

IowarallyCheck out their amazing gallery of the bigots who attended this “prayer walk”.

Last August, Judge Robert Hanson ruled Iowa’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional and ordered the Polk County recorder to begin issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples. The ruling was stayed shortly thereafter, but not before college students Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan (above) were issued the state’s only same-sex marriage license. That ruling has been appealed and made its way to the State Supreme Court.

Several lawmakers feel that the Court should make a ruling before the legislature gets involved. These bigots who massed at the State House yesterday, organized by the Iowa Family Policy Center and its director Chuck Hurley, feel otherwise, thus the “Let Us Vote” signs. They would like to be able to vote on an amendment banning same-sex marriage, according to The Des Moines Register:

Iowamarriage“Amendments to the Iowa Constitution need to be approved by simple majorities in both the House and Senate in two consecutive general assemblies and then be approved by a simple majority of voters in the next general election. That means if a resolution is approved this year and in the 2009 or 2010 session, it can be on the general election ballot in November 2010. If lawmakers wait a year to start the process, the earliest a resolution could reach the ballot is 2012.”

Connie Ryan Terrell, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa and Action Fund, criticized the demonstration:

“I very much believe these organizations should show respect to the court. It really does disrupt the integrity of the judicial process.”

Any time conservatives complain about “activist judges” making liberal decisions, think about this demonstration. Here’s evidence of religious conservatives putting pressure on judges to become activists.

These people are praying to God that you and I never have the ability to marry, to share equality in our rights and lives with other citizens of the United States:


Kudos must go to Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, however, for her restraint in refusing to dignify the reason these bigots were there. In her State of the Judiciary speech, according to the Sioux City Journal, she did not mention the court’s pending same-sex marriage case.

But she did say: “Today, the work of judges is much more stressful, demanding and complicated than it was a decade ago.”

She also spoke with reporters after the speech. Said Ternus: “You can do a very good job as a judge and do everything you’re constitutionally and ethically required to do, to be fair and impartial. And people don’t understand that that’s what’s required of you. They want something more. They want judges to be more like a legislator or a politician. And that puts judges in a very uncomfortable position. Judges are trained to make decisions based on the law. That’s what we do, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Hundreds ask Legislature for ban on gay marriage [des moines register]
Marriage Amendment Rally GALLERY [des moines register]
Gay marriage case looms over chief justice’s speech [sioux city journal]

Anti-Gay Marriage Rally Planned Today at Iowa Statehouse [tr]
Iowa Catholics Call for Same-Sex Marriage Ban [tr]
Iowa Group Moves to Impeach Judge Who Allowed Gay Marriages [tr]
Democratic Iowa Governor Chet Culver Supports Gay Marriage Ban [tr]
Two Men Married in Iowa’s First Same-Sex Marriage [tr]


  1. CK says

    When will these bigoted fools realize that if there is a threat to their marriage, it is their own inability to hold their shit together, and has NOTHING to do with the right for gay people to marry? If their marriages are so troubled, frail and weak that they will fall apart because my partner and I marry, they are pretty fucked up right from the outset! To them I say: “Look to yourselves for the source of your troubles, and if you think your marriage is fabulous, but you simply want to exclude gay people from sharing everyday rights, go screw yourselves, bigots!”

  2. Jon says

    Please take a look at picture #15 in the gallery (linked to in this posting). It is classic. These people are just fools. We need them around because they just make us look better and better.

  3. gogol says

    Why does no one organize impromptu musical numbers to counter these “prayer walks”? I would love to see hundreds of gay rights supporters out there singing numbers from Broadway musicals on the steps of the court house.

  4. Luke says

    Who would want to live in Iowa anyway!? What a shit-hole. I say give the snow-swept mud-bath to them and let them wallow in it. We should put up a big fence and lock them in. HA!

  5. PeterH says

    The people who get the bigots stirred up by talking about a threat to their marriages know perfectly well that there *is* no threat; that argument is a red herring. They simply don’t like gay people and are afraid that marriage will bestow legitimacy on us, thereby allowing the world to see we’re OK. What bothers me is why they think they should be able to vote on something that affects my life and really has nothing to do with them.

  6. Rey says

    Luke, Iowa has a rather large gay population considering – especially in Iowa City where gay and lesbian people have had housing and employment protections for years. I believe the University of Iowa had one of the first U.S. gay student groups in 1970 if I’m not mistaken.

    But indeed there are a number of shallow, petty homophobic people just like there are out here in California. I was born and raised in Iowa and worked hard to get out, but I recognize that I was motivated, worked hard, and had the means to flee. Not everybody is so lucky.

    I understand the anger and enjoy the “lock them in” sentiment – but don’t ever forget that gay people are everywhere. Even Iowa. And they need our support in condemning those specific homophobes that inhabit the region instead of dismissing the entire state itself.

  7. says

    Until homosexuals stand up and start fighting these idiots who want to cage us in our closets, they will keep trying to run our lives.

    Instead of bitching, try calling your representatives and anyone else who will listen and tell them you’re not going to accept being treated like a second class citizen. That’s what I do and I’m surrounded by fuckin’ republicans where I live.

  8. bpr says

    “I know what I’ll do. I’ll further segregate America’s society. I’ll force people to nasty torrents of subjugation, humiliation…even second-class citizenship! Today I will make it known that homosexuals are NOT true citizens of this world. That their love is fake, a mockery of what my father intended it to be.

    Today I will side with all those who know the true way to my home: self-righteousness, judgment, fear, intolerance!! Amen.”

    — Jesus

    Really? I am lost.

  9. Luke says

    Rey – I must admit, being a Londoner I’d never heard of Iowa before. I’m not really sure where they are on the map or what they’re famous for or anything. Cheese, maybe?!?? Anyway it looks primative in the picture and all those cultish people outside look like something off a Simpson episode. I like the guy who wrote “LET USE VOTE” and crossed out the ‘e’ because someone obviously had to tell him how to spell ‘us’!!! d’oh!

  10. Mike in the Tundra says

    Give them a break. Their self-concept totally depends on hating someone. It’s no longer PC to hate African Americans and Jews, so they’re stuck with hating us. If it ever becomes PC to not hate us, I really don’t know what they’re going to do.

  11. Disgusted American says

    Im Eff’ing sick of these people voting on OUR LIVES…USING thier “Religion”……FUCK Iowa…another state in America to avoid…another “Fly Over” state…Florida may be next..this past Xmas my other half got us a Vacation (3 choices of destinations) Europe..too expensive now, Florida or Cancun..I said Europe too much money, Florida,planning an Ammendment “Fuck’m”..they aint gettin my tourism dollars…so Cancun it is.

  12. Rex says

    Watched a show last night about Jews in Germany pre & post WW2….the similarities are VERY familiar with “BLAME”, and Hatred,Bigotry towards the it is here in America against Gays..the newest thing to come out in the last few days..the “supposed religious” grps..AFA,FTF…are BLAMING gays for this latest STAPH infection outbreak….Nothing will drastically change in this country UNTIL we as Gay Americans MAKE A STAND AS ONE..MILLIONS OF US..MARCH ON WASHINGTON and DEMAND ENDA,and Marriage Equality!

  13. ZEKE says

    As easy and satisfying as it is to sit back and condemn these people, at least they are taking ACTION to push their cause as misguided as it may be.

    Let’s face it, if HALF of gay America was HALF as motivated to fight FOR our rights as they are to fight AGAINST them then we would be a force to be reckoned with and we would be A LOT futher advanced in our struggles.

    I have worked with many gay rights organizations; most recently with Fairness for ALL Families in Florida, which is fighting the marriage amendment. It’s like pulling teeth to get ANYONE to get involved much less march on the capitol.

    We seem to be very good at bitching and moaning on websites but not so good at putting our indignation to productive and visible ACTION.



    Otherwise we will continue to be held as second class citizens by bigots who ARE willing to DO something.

  14. le_sacre says

    they get riled up because they know they are losing. given trends in demographics and public opinion, and the ongoing experiment suggesting that the sky is not going to fall in on massachussets (or netherlands, belgium, spain, canada, or south africa), it’s clear that greater equality is an inevitability.

    i think we have mainstream visibility to thank for that. public opinion is swaying as more and more people know a gay person personally, or become convinced by media representations that we’re not sick or evil. i’m not that old, but even i remember how different things were when i was growing up, and am grateful that i was born when i was and no earlier.

  15. says

    I would like to reemphasize the importance of fair and impartial courts. It is absolutely crucial in same-sex marriage cases, civil rights cases, and other controversial and often religiously charged cases that the courts must have the breathing room necessary to make decisions based on the Constitution and not on outside forces or pressure. Regardless of what side of the issues you are on, everyone should be in favor of letting the judges do their job. Impeachment threats, political repercussions and other attacks are only efforts to make the judges accountable to special interests and not the Constitution.

  16. Mikey says

    Hey guys, lay off the Iowa criticisms. I can’t believe that anyone would call it a “shithole.” These Christian folk are everywhere: in every state, every major city, every company, and every block in America. Don’t put the blame on Iowa.

    And that’s not the Statehouse, it’s the Judicial Building, built on a bluff overlooking the Des Moines River Valley and the rest of the City. It’s actually quite beautiful. Some of the comments here make you look like the ignorant and poorly traveled ones, not the Christian wackos in the pictures…

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