Ultraconservative and antigay Iowa congressman Steve King has been elected to a sixth term in the U.S. House, beating back a tough challenge from Christie Vilsack, the wife of former Iowa governor and current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. King faced a difficult reelection campaign after redistricting, but emerged the winner nonetheless.
King is one of the National Organization for Marriage's closest allies. He said he feared his state would become a “gay marriage mecca” after a 2009 state Supreme Court decision struck down barriers to legal marriage by same-sex couples. He went on a bus tour around the state encouraging voters to recall the justices who joined in that decision; the three who were up for retention votes in 2010 were indeed ousted, and another faces a vote this year. King also has contended that marriage equality was a step toward a society that took children away from their parents to be raised in warehouses. “There have been civilizations that have tried to do that,” he said. “The Spartans did that. They took the children away and taught them to be warriors.”