Ousted Iowa Judges to Receive JFK Profile in Courage Award

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com March 06 2012 8:10 PM ET

Three Iowa Supreme Court justices who voted to legalize same-sex marriage and were later removed from the bench by voters will be honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

Justices Marsha Ternus, Michael Streit, and David Baker voted in 2009 to legalize same-sex marriage in Iowa, making the state the first outside of New England to offer marriage equality. A year later, a right-wing effort brought by Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats helped oust the judges when they were up for a retention vote.

At a ceremony in May, Ternus, Streit, and Baker will be honored for their ruling, which ultimately cost them their jobs.

Calla Rongerude, interim executive director of equality group One Iowa, issued the following statement: “One Iowa congratulates Justice Ternus, Justice Streit, and Justice Baker for their courage and their commitment to upholding the Constitution. Because of their dedication to treating all Iowans as equal under the law, they have transformed the lives of loving and committed gay and lesbian couples and have made Iowa a more inclusive and fair place for all families. This is a very well deserved honor.”