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11/03/2010

Iowa For Freedom's winnings: Pages of archived lies, ideas that can't be intellectually defended, massive karmic debt, a marriage opinion that still stands...

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2010-11-03 At 8.36.26 AmIt's safe to say it now: From the first day many of us heard about the so-called Iowa For Freedom campaign, we were convinced that the opposition would win at the polls. The effort seemed tailor made for anti-gay lashing out, since (a) the non- or barely-campaigning judges in these retention votes are essentially sitting ducks, (b) the retention process is usually under the radar and therefore perfect for influencing by a hyper-motivated interest, (c) the "activist judge" meme is a popular rally cry among the anti-equality movement, (d) there's a relatively high non-participation in these retention votes, (e) the national climate is perfectly tuned for this kind of passion-over-reason referendum, and (f) Iowa's anti-equality movement is in search for anything that will allow them to stomp their feet at the principled Varnum opinion. Once the outside money came pouring in and more and more "pro-family" groups came on board, many of us saw virtually no path to protect the three judges.

So those involved with IFF may now be crowing about how "historic" and "huge" it is that they were able to fire three, learned judicial scholars on the basis of discriminatory vindictiveness pertaining to ONE RULING with which they biblically disagree. But many of us who pay attention were fully expecting it, both the outcome and the Pyrrhic celebration. Even as we pushed and pushed -- and few sites pushed back harder than this one -- we knew our battle to cut through these obfuscating threats to our independent judiciary was uphill, at best.

6A00D8341C503453Ef0133F567B0D8970BBut here's the thing: This outcome, while we'd imagine to be personally devastating for the three judges who now see themselves pink slipped for doing absolutely nothing beyond the duties of their job, is really not that devastating for the pro-equality, pro-judicial independence movement. In fact: If we play it right and push back the way more people (and groups) should've been pushing back while this process played out over the past several months, we actually have a golden opportunity to find truckloads of teachable moments regarding church/state separation, the courts and their proper role, the need to safeguard minority rights, and the true threat that majority tyranny poses to equal protection and due process. If we see this whole thing as an ongoing national conversation (and groups like NOM are surely eager to turn it into one), then last night's retention vote was just the culmination of our opposition's opening argument. We now have a major chance at rebuttal. We hold the intellectual cards!

It's never fun to find ourselves bullied by unbelievably fallacious political coalitions who proudly call us a "degradation of God’s best design for the family" (while the media continues to paint them as mere voices of political dissent). But if you want fun, go to a gossip or gadget site. Here at G-A-Y, we have canards and machinations to challenge.

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*SEE ALSO: Our complete Iowa For Freedom Archive

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