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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.

judicial retention 500x171

Anti-retention leaders: Iowa just the start of national gay marriage battle

Campaign to 'take the country back' starts in the Hawkeye State
By Andy Kopsa | 10.29.10 | 9:00 am

DES MOINES — Their organized push to oust three state Supreme Court justices may be coming to an end when voters go to the polls next week, but local and national leaders of the campaign said flatly on Thursday that Iowa is simply the first fight of a large-scale battle over gay rights in America.

Speaking in Des Moines on the final stop of a 20-city bus tour sponsored by his organization, Tony Perkins of the Washington-D.C. based Family Research Council said the Iowa Supreme Court justices,  “unleashed chaos on the state of Iowa and the entire nation,” when they ruled unanimously in April 2009 that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.  Perkins said if Iowans vote “no” on retention, “you will send a message that goes around this country that Americans have had enough and we’re taking our country back and we’re starting right here in Iowa with this Supreme Court.”

Connie Ryan Terrell, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, said in a previous interview with The Iowa Independent that national anti-gay organizations have descended on Iowa in such large numbers because they want to “test in Iowa whether or not they can do something” about gay marriage. A handful of the nation’s most influential social conservative organizations — from the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage to the Mississippi-based American Family Association — have united to spend nearly $1 million on the campaign to oust the judges thus far.

“People need to be aware that it seems this year all of the very right wing organizations have Iowa in their sights,” Ryan Terrell said in a phone interview. “That’s a scary proposition for our state and should be a red flag to Iowans.

Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, addressed the issue of same-sex marriage immediately in his remarks to the crowd, saying it violates natural law.

“Any middle school child knows that marriage between a man and a man or a woman and woman is not rooted in eternal law or natural law,” he said. “That is the really critical foundational problem with what this court has tried to do.”

The “no” on retention movement has repeatedly said that same-sex marriage is just one of many reasons the judges deserve to be ousted from the bench. In an interview with The Iowa Independent following the rally, Hurley said he’s heard several other reasons why people are ready to oust the judges, but that same-sex marriage was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Former GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bob Vander Plaats — who founded the organization Iowa for Freedom in August specifically to target the three Supreme Court justices on the ballot — agreed with Hurley’s assessment that same-sex marriage is the driving issue behind the campaign.

“For me, we are standing up for the institution of marriage, who’s total design is procreation,” Vander Plaats said. “Marriage is the issue, but every freedom is now up for grabs.”

Tamara Scott of the Concerned Women of America’s Iowa chapter likened the justices to misbehaving children.

“If a child is misbehaving and they get by with it, do they usually stop on their own or do they get a bit more brazen?” she said. “We found that just like children the legislature and the judges too behave better when they know adults are watching.”

Scott urged the crowd to vote “no” on retention because, “if you rise up you will see states calling, other people from other states phoning and e-mailing and coming to find out how you did it because they too want to take their state back.”

Judicial retention was established in Iowa in the 1960s. It has never resulted in a judge being ousted from the bench, and rarely has it ever generated much political interest. Vander Plaats said the reason this year is different is because the court went after the institution of marriage and opened the door to things like incest and polygamy.

“If this were a true civil rights case – if – [the justices] actually wrote discrimination into the ruling, they wrote only ‘same sex’ – you and I both know there are polygamists out there who want to marry three four other women, or gay, lesbian, transgender bisexuals that want to marry one man and one woman, why limit it?” he said.


  • Anonymous

    If the intention for marriage is procreation, we should not allow the infertile to wed. Get on that, god warriors.

    • Anonymous

      My wife and I are unable to conceive!!!!!!! we should not have been able to wed???????????? Think before you write!!!!!!!!! It would appear that you would throw the first stone. Do you want to castrate also?

      • Anonymous

        This isn’t something I’m suggesting. It’s in the article. This man’s argument against gay marriage is that marriage is only for reproductive purposes, yet he ignores the many marriages already in existence that do not produce children. Sorry to have offended you. I do not wish to revoke yours or anyones rights.

        • Anonymous

          Thank you for making this clear.

          • rx7ward

            It would have been crystal clear of you’d bothered to actually read the article …

          • Anonymous

            No problem. Who wouldn’t be upset at such a suggestion? I think if more straight folks and people in general realized how easily their own freedoms can be denied, they’d be less likely to squash the rights of others.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe everyone should read this.

  • Marc Luxenberg

    The definition of marriage has always been fluid. As typical, the definition started with the powerful creating a definition that gave white [majority] free men all power, including power over wives’ property and body, and children were his chattle. A man could divorce an infertile woman or marry as many women as he wanted. Things change. We approve of marriage equality for women – who only in the 20th century have any right to their children, property or sexual boundaries. [a husband nearly always had the right to rape his wife] Since marriage is now all about the equality of the genders, there’s no rational reason to restrict marriage to a specific gender pattern. If you disagree as a woman, you must be willing to accept that you lose legal rights when you say I do.

  • Anonymous

    This is soft-core fascism. Soft-core because no one will be sent to “re-education camps” or anything like that, just enough of a distraction to keep the simpleminded voting against their own economic best-self interest.

    • Anonymous

      It might be soft-core fascism at the moment, but people like Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association (one of the groups spending the money on this debate) have said many times, and continue to say that homosexuality should be a criminal act and that homosexuals should be imprisoned and put through programs to ‘correct’ their criminal behavior. These people need to be stopped now, revealed for the extremists they are.

      Pastor Martin Niemöller probably said it best —

      They came first for the Communists,
      and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

      Then they came for me
      and by that time no one was left to speak up.

      People need to remember that if they allow the rights of one group to be removed they open the door to allow their rights to be removed. Homosexuals are the target now, people who don’t think this issue affects them need to wonder… When will they come for me?

  • rextrek1

    well Tuesday we will see IF Iowans are STUPID and Bigoted enough to fall for the RIGHT WING BS …..and even IF the Judges are NOT retained…Marriage Equality WILL STILL Remain. Don't think you're going to VOID the 1000's of marriages that have already taken place… prepared for YEARS of Litigation, I hope Iowans are ready to USE thier TAX dollars to fight this….??? Aren't there More Pressing Issues for Iowans..? Like Hunger,homelessness,joblessness, 100's without Health Insurance etc etc etc? Let's see IF Iowans are Dumb enough to let Outside influences COST your state Millions in years and years of Litigation.

  • underwhelm

    Is Vander Plaats actually arguing that the court should have engaged in judicial activism by ruling on matters not before it? Or is he just being a disingenuous demagogue? If Vander Plaats wants Iowa to recognize his polygamous fantasy, he can bring his own court case.

  • Anonymous

    Vander Platts fails to acknowledge that Christianity was founded by polygamy and incest (Abraham, Moses, David, etc. were all polygamists, while Lott and his daughters were incestuous). The bloodline of Jesus came from polygamy and incest, since he’s a descendent of these folks. If the majority religion which was founded on polygamy and incest hasn’t caused the legalization of polygamy and incest, then nothing is going to. Vander Platts is simply making money violating other people’s human rights, which he wants put up to a vote, but not his own. He is a hypocrite and Jesus said Hypocrites and pharisees cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, so as a hypocrite Vander Platts is not a Christian according to Christ Himself.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t we have a hell of a lot more to be concerned about than this issue? Ridiculous! How in the hell is a marriage between two consenting adults, regardless of gender, going to affect me and my life? It isn’t. It never has. Live and let live. Jeez, this is 2010, not 1810.
    Let’s move on Iowa…………………..

  • Anonymous

    It all boils down to definition.
    Simple definition of WITCHCRAFT

    Simple definition of MAN MADE RELIGIONS LIKE ISLAM



    Simple definition of GOD

    God does not practice witchcraft.


  • Anonymous

    Gays! Your buddies on the bench are gone! Ahhahahaha

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