E-mail campaign targets antigay Idaho magistrate

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 30 2002 12:00 AM ET

An E-mail campaign is circulating against a Bonneville County, Ida., magistrate up for reelection on the November 5 ballot. At least 51 people have received E-mails asking them to vote against retaining Judge L. Mark Riddoch because of his ruling against a gay father in a custody battle.

Riddoch's ruling allows Idaho Falls resident Theron McGriff to visit his two daughters, though he cannot live with his partner and keep custody. McGriff has appealed the decision to the Idaho supreme court.

The E-mail says the ruling has resulted in negative publicity. "Worldwide publicity reciting Riddoch's court opinion has caused Idaho Falls residents to be misportrayed as bigoted, narrow-minded reactionaries," the E-mail reads. "This is not an accurate reflection of who we are."

It is not clear who is leading the campaign to oust Riddoch. The E-mail says it was "originated by private individuals with no connection to any organizations and without the involvement or endorsement of Mr. McGriff."

McGriff learned Friday of the campaign and said he has nothing to do with it.

Although Bonneville County resident Melanie Seneff was not sure where the campaign originated, she forwarded the E-mail to 39 people. Seneff said she is concerned about Riddoch's ruling and sees plenty of support for McGriff. "I really do think people need to be aware," Seneff said.