Bob Vander Plaats recently announced he was getting the band (well, bus at least) back together for a reunion tour across the state of Iowa in an effort to remove Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins from the bench. We need to see this for what it is: an attempt to delegitimize the relationships of our fellow Iowans.
Mr. Vander Plaats might tell you this is about the judges, that it’s about gay marriage, preserving family values, protecting our traditions or even saving Western Civilization from utter collapse, but it’s much more simple than any of that. Fundamentally, to vote “No” on retaining our judges is to say that the love same-sex couples feel for each other is inferior to the love straight couples feel. It is to say that only some families are real families.
If Vander Plaats were sincere in his efforts to protect marriage, he might heed the thought of one of our neighbors to the north, Senator Al Franken, who likes to point out the obvious: “Marriage is the best thing that ever happened to me. Why would I ever try to rob that happiness from anyone else?”
Since its founding, the United States of America has been defined by its struggle to extend the rights that our founders claimed for themselves to the rest of our fellow citizens. There was a time when many states prevented non-land owners from voting—from engaging in the very liberty for which we had fought a war. As we have attempted to perfect our Union, we have continually moved in the direction of more freedom and more liberty. We have moved closer to, not away from, that shining city on the hill of which Presidents Reagan and Kennedy so often spoke, that last great bastion of hope and freedom.
Mr. Vander Plaats and his ilk would move us backwards. They would extinguish the light of that shining city. They see our country, our state, not as that last great bastion of hope and freedom but as some radical cesspool destined for moral oblivion. Their campaign is working to turn Iowans against the very people who are being oppressed, targeted and intimidated. We cannot let this happen. I hope you’ll join me in flipping over the ballot on Nov. 6 and voting “Yes” on judicial retention for the Iowa Supreme Court.
—Zach Wahls, Iowa City