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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

National group pushes county recorders to defy same-sex marriage ruling

By Jason Hancock | 04.23.09 | 10:34 am

An Arizona-based Christian nonprofit is offering free legal defense to any of Iowa’s 99 county recorders who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal advocacy group founded in 1994 by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson and the late Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, sent an e-mail to each of Iowa’s county recorders asking them to tell their staff that they “shall not be required to issue or process a marriage license, or to perform, assist or participate in such procedures, against that individual’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

The e-mail, which was sent out in conjunction with the Iowa Family Policy Center, says Iowa law protects citizens from being forced to “violate his or her conscience.”

The ADF then offers to “provide free legal review and defense” for any county recorder that adopts a “conscious clause” and is challenged “on the basis of its content.”

“Government employees who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman should not be penalized for abiding by their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Doug Napier.

The e-mail comes on the heals of a petition drive pushed by Republican state Sen. Merlin Bartz asking opponents of same-sex marriage to collect signatures and deliver them to county recorders demanding that they ignore court’s decision and deny marriage licenses to couples of the same gender. Bartz has since had an ethics complaint filed against him saying he is trying to pressure local elected officials to break the law.

Attorney General Tom Miller has repeatedly warned county recorders that they do not have the authority to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, and “recorders do not have discretion or power to ignore the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling,” Miller said.

The court’s ruling goes into effect Monday.

Iowa law says that an elected official can be removed from office for refusal to perform duties of the office or for willful or habitual neglect.

The ADF promotes itself as a response to the American Civil Liberties Union. In its 2007 fiscal year, it spent nearly $30 million, according to Guidestar, with the goal of protecting what it regards as the place of Christianity in public life. The group has taken on cases involving embryonic stem cell research, religious displays on public grounds, the Boy Scouts of America’s policy barring gay scout leaders and efforts to stop the husband of Terri Schiavo from disconnected from her life-sustaining feeding tube.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


  • RegularJoe

    ADF – Annoying Dumb Fucks? Anti Democracy Fanatics? Amoral Damned Fascists?

  • MickeyC

    This same bunch of nuts is trying to mess in New York politics too. Why don't they stay in Arizona? They aren't wanted any where else. Now trying to get people to break the law for their sick agenda is really too much.

    • SuznAZ

      We don't want the wackadoos in Arizona either. Can we send them to Utah? They already damaged AZ with their vitriol. Always wonder what frightens them so much. Half of non-gay marriages end in divorce, most of us know folks married more than a couple of times. Maybe it's that the ADF and their ilk think they'll look bad when compared to a happy, loving, rational gay married couple.

  • slincoln

    One Iowa volunteers will be at County Recorder's offices throughout the state on Monday, and Human Rights Campaign is watching closely. We will be taking the State Attorney General at his word. If people break their oath and break the law – we expect them to lose their job.

    The ADF is right about one thing, Iowa law does protect people from “[violating] his or her conscience” – it's called the right to quit your job before you are fired for not doing it.

  • slincoln

    “The ADF promotes itself as a response to the American Civil Liberties Union. In its 2007 fiscal year, it spent nearly $30 million, according to Guidestar, with the goal of protecting what it regards as the place of Christianity in public life.”

    Ah, that makes this more clear. So it is their general nature to use christian privilege to try and violate the constitution. This latest move should come as no shock then.

  • MBern

    Does this mean that if they follow old testiment that they can actually refuse to marry interracial couples based on their religous beliefs, and would the ADF be so suicidial as to actually back their decision not to issue a license to black and white couples.

    Lord, I'd love to see that, there wouldn't be one word of defense for the recorder that refused to issue an interracial couple a license, but somehow this ADF group actually spent 30 million dollars to stop gay and lesiban families from having equal rights all in the name of “Christianity”. Hmmm, wonder how many homeless families would been helped with that money. Wonder how many children who go to sleep in the family car, or a shelter would hae a better life if that money was spent on helping families instead of trying to attack gay families

    Just a question to those who have apparently understood the bible differently than I had been taught it, is there a section which shows me How Christ turned his back on human need to focus instead on denying someone else the right to love? I'd like to re-read that part, I seem to have forgotten all about it.

  • turkeystone

    MBern asks good questions. I offer a few more: What about the county employees who, in following their conscience, won't assist those divorcing outside of biblically proscribed limits? What about hospital employees (in hospitals receiving state/federal $$) who, following their conscience, won't permit legally married same-sex partners to have access to medical records?

    I'm not familiar with any so-called Iowa “conscience” laws, but it IS against the law in Iowa to encourage others to break the law. And the Supreme Court ruling has the force of law. Sounds to me like the ADF is the Christian version of the Taliban.

  • turkeystone

    One more thing…
    Doesn't it just GRIND you that old Mr. Dobson and the ADF have NOTHING TO LOSE in encouraging laws to be broken? They'll continue to rake in their millions while asking under-paid, over-worked county recorders in a state far from their lavish homes to commit professional suicide. Now that's class.

    Just once I'd like to see a “big-shot” like Dobson lay it on the line. Like that's ever going to happen.

  • Larry_RussCedarRapids


  • ToddCM

    Well all you liberal legal gurus. I don't think ANY of your little arguments that were brought up were banned via a popular vote, were they?? I don't believe divorce was banned…I'm pretty sure interracial marriage wasn't banned either. So, since a MAJORITY of voters voted to ban it…and THEN a liberal court overturned that…we are not comparing apples to apples. Of course, this sort of logic and reason never gets in the way of a liberal's agenda. So, IF an employee that feels that the gay marriage ban that was voted on AND PASSED violates their conscience…then they have a legal right to defy this ruling by liberal activist judges. Liberals only trumpet the “law” when they think it furthers THEIR OWN agenda.

    • slincoln

      What are you talking about, of course interracial marriage was banned. Did you skip history in high school?

  • Newswatch

    Anyone want to bet that Roberta Green Ahmanson, who “saved” the Hotel Pattee in Perry with her eccentric husband, Howard, then walked away from it, will suddenly get interested in Iowa again? You know Howard. He advocates a theocracy, threw millions at Proposition 8 in California and has been quoted as saying that homosexuals should be stoned (not in a good way).

  • uts72

    County clerks are agent of the government. They can't decide which laws to comply with and which ones to ignore. In theory, all 99 of them could get together and decide to invoke a “conscious clause” against blacks marrying whites, creating a defacto statewide ban on interracial marriage. Is there any need to continue with this debate?

  • SupremacyClaus

    Miller is a vile lawyer oppressor. He is an enemy, trying to destroy the American family, an agent for the homosexual extremist fringe, now in full control of the courts. All service and product should boycott him. The Iowa Supreme Court Justices should also be on this boycott list. Shun them, until they leave the state of Iowa.

    • slincoln

      “Fringe”? Support for marriage equality is now the plurality position. Time to catch up to real life.

      I'm sorry that you decided to take your civil rights for granted today. I suppose we should vote yours away.

    • RegularJoe

      Please tell us you haven't produced offspring. (Also, you really shouldn't your fingers lose on a keyboard unsupervised…you should really read that drivel they produced this time.)

  • RegularJoe

    Please tell us you haven't produced offspring. (Also, you really shouldn't your fingers lose on a keyboard unsupervised…you should really read that drivel they produced this time.)

  • RegularJoe

    Please tell us you haven't produced offspring. (Also, you really shouldn't your fingers lose on a keyboard unsupervised…you should really read that drivel they produced this time.)

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