Ousted Iowa judges to receive Kennedy Profile in Courage Award


Three years after the unanimous Iowa Supreme Court decision affirming the freedom to marry, three former justices ousted in a retention election following the ruling will receive the prestigious 2012 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Monday, May 7. Caroline Kennedy will present the award to former Iowa Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. 

“Former justices David Baker, Michael Streit, and Chief Justice Marsha Ternus showed tremendous courage when they joined a unanimous court in upholding the freedom to marry for all loving, committed couples in Iowa, and, again, when they honored the bedrock American value of an independent judiciary by refraining from political campaigning even as they faced an unprecedented moneyed campaign mounted against the court by anti-marriage shell-groups,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry. “These courageous justices have stood by their decision and fidelity to the constitutional guarantees they defended, even as Iowa’s voters have begun expressing buyers’ remorse over succumbing to the scare-tactic, special-interest campaign that rabbit-punched judges for doing their job .”

“Freedom to Marry honors the profile in courage set by these faithful judges, and applauds the Kennedy Foundation for recognizing the power of their example,” added Wolfson.

The award ceremony will take place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on Monday, May 7 from 11am to 12pm and will be webcast live. The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award is presented annually to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences.

Same-sex couples in Iowa have been able to marry in Iowa since April 27, 2009.  This year, Freedom to Marry partnered with One Iowa, the state’s leading LGBT organization, to launch a statewide public education campaign of neighbor-to-neighbor conversations about gay couples and their families in Iowa, and why marriage matters.