Gay Marriage a Big Issue in Iowa Supreme Court Justice Vote

Posted at: 10/14/2012 10:40 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 News) -- On election day, Iowa Supreme Court Justice, David Wiggins future on the bench will be decided by Iowa voters. It's known as retention and it's leaving many voters with questions. Sunday, Wiggins spoke with a small crowd in Mason City

Among the hundreds of political signs lining Mason City yards, it's rare to find one bearing Justice Wiggins' name.

Speaking to a crowd at the First Congregational Church, Wiggins joked about a story, "He said the second article of the consitituions about the Executive Branch now it's about three-fourths of a page he says now look at this about the Judicial Branch, it's only about 12 lines long, what do you think about that?"

All jokes aside, on November 6th, his name will be on the back of the Iowa ballot as he faces retention-- meaning Iowa voters can decide whether or not he stays on the bench.

"It's up to you folks, Iowans to say whether you want it or not, the way you vote," he said.

His speech on Sunday focused on the role of Judiciary.

"We make sure that the legislature doesn't pass any laws nor the executive branch enforce any laws that violate any right guaranteed you under the constitution," said Wiggins.

But it's hard to talk about Wiggins without mentioning gay marriage. In 2009, the seven members of the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck down Iowa's ban on same sex marriage. In 2010, three of those judges were voted out.

Mary Ann Baago of Clear Lake, is one of few with a vote, "No Wiggins," sign. She says a vote against Wiggins, is a vote for her beliefs.

"I belive in the bible and the bible says, marriage is between a man and a woman," she said.

Davie Welsher, President of PFLAG in North Iowa, disagrees.

"There's a group out there that thinks it's bringing Iowa down where allowing same sex couples to marry. It's been 3 years to date and I don't think anything dramatically has happened," he said.

Either vote will have a lasting effect on Iowa's Judiciary branch.