Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31



Iowa justices to receive prestigious Kennedy Award for marriage ruling
From news releases, updated March 12, 2012

This article shared 4135 times since Tue Mar 6, 2012
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Des Moines, IA—Three Iowa Supreme Court Justices who were ousted in the 2010 judicial retention vote will receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in May. This is the highest and most prestigious award that can be bestowed upon public servants and was created to celebrate political courage.

Justices Marsha Ternus, Michael Streit and David Baker will receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. The groups One Iowa, Lambda Legal, and Justice Not Politics celebrated the news.

The 24th Annual May Dinner celebrates the life and legacy of President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy and the 50th Anniversary of their White House years. Hosted by Caroline Kennedy and Board Chair Kenneth R. Feinberg, and co-chaired by Gerard F. Doherty and Peter & Carolyn Lynch, the dinner is held on the eve of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award ceremony. This black-tie gala supports the Kennedy Library's dynamic educational programs and includes a cocktail reception, dinner, and a special performance.

The Profile in Courage Award is administered by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, which is based in Boston. A distinguished bipartisan committee named by the Foundation reviews all nominations, and selects the recipient or recipients of the award.

On April 3, 2009, the Iowa State Supreme Court unanimously ruled that excluding gay and lesbian couples from marriage was unconstitutional. In August 2010, the state's most prominent anti-equality leader, Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats, launched an attack on the three Iowa Supreme Court justices who were up for retention on the November 2010 ballot. Through a campaign fueled by misinformation and bankrolled by out-of-state anti-gay groups and leaders, most notably the National Organization for Marriage ( NOM ) and the American Family Association ( AFA ) , the three justices were ousted.

Justice Not Politics Board Chair Connie Ryan Terrell issued the following statement:

"Justice Not Politics extends congratulations to Justices Ternus, Baker, and Streit for receiving this high honor. Iowa is consistently recognized for its quality courts, and the three esteemed justices played no small part through their many contributions on the bench. We also commend them for the continued role they play in advancing Iowa's fair and impartial courts."

One Iowa Interim Executive Director Calla Rongerude 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."

Lambda Legal Marriage Project Director Camilla Taylor issued the following statement:

"Chief Justice Ternus, Justice Streit, and Justice Baker took an oath to defend the Iowa Constitution and earned their place in history when they lived up to their oath with integrity and did the right thing before much of the rest of the country was ready," said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director at Lambda Legal and architect of the Varnum lawsuit. "We congratulate them on this much deserved high honor."

# # #

Justice Not Politics is a broad based, nonpartisan coalition of organizations and Iowans across the political spectrum ---- progressive to conservative; Republicans, Independents and Democrats ---- all who are committed to protecting Iowa's courts and our system of merit selection and retention.

One Iowa is the state's largest LGBT organization working for full equality for LGBT individuals living in Iowa through grassroots efforts and education.

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

See award event details here: .

Added from a March 12 news release:

Also being honored with a 2012 Profile in Courage Award is Robert Ford, U.S. Ambassador to Syria, whose bold and courageous diplomacy has provided crucial support to Syrians struggling under the brutal regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

The prestigious award for political courage, announced today by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, will be presented by Caroline Kennedy at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on Monday, May 7.

"This year's Profile in Courage Award honorees have shown uncommon valor as public servants," said Caroline Kennedy, President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. "When Justices Baker, Streit, and Ternus joined a unanimous decision to overturn a law denying same-sex couples the privileges of marriage, they sacrificed their own futures on the Court to honor Iowa's constitution and the rights of all its citizens. In Syria, as a member of the United States Foreign Service, Ambassador Ford has boldly carved a new path of diplomacy, risking his own safety in the face of political turmoil and violence to show support for the Syrian people."

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. The award is named for President Kennedy's 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book,Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers, incurring the wrath of constituents or powerful interest groups, by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation created the Profile in Courage Award™ in 1989 to honor President Kennedy's commitment and contribution to public service. It is presented in May in celebration of President Kennedy's May 29th birthday. The Profile in Courage Award is represented by a sterling-silver lantern symbolizing a beacon of hope. The lantern was designed by Edwin Schlossberg and crafted by Tiffany & Co.

David Baker, Michael Streit and Marsha Ternus, Former Iowa Supreme Court Justices

In 2009, Iowa Supreme Court Justices Marsha Ternus, David Baker and Michael Streit joined a unanimous opinion which struck down Iowa's ban on same-sex marriage. The decision was the first unanimous high court opinion on marriage for same-sex couples, and it made Iowa the third state to legalize same-sex marriage. The justices were aware that their opinion might not enjoy support from a majority of the public, but the Court stressed in its opinion that its responsibility was "to protect constitutional rights of individuals from legislative enactments that have denied those rights, even when the rights have not yet been broadly accepted, were at one time unimagined, or challenge a deeply ingrained practice or law viewed to be impervious to the passage of time." Although the Court's decision was unanimous, it provoked a political backlash. In November 2010, voters removed Ternus, Baker and Streit from office following an unprecedented campaign financed in part by national interest groups opposed to same-sex marriage. The justices' ouster marked the first time since Iowa adopted its current judicial system that any sitting Supreme Court judge had lost an uncontested retention election. Ternus, Baker and Streit were the only three Supreme Court justices subject to a retention vote that year. They will be honored for the courage they and their colleagues demonstrated in upholding and defending the constitutional role of an independent judiciary, which has been vital to American democracy and historically responsible for the greatest advances in civil rights for all Americans.

Robert Ford, United States Ambassador to Syria

As U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford has taken extraordinary personal risks to bear witness to the violence and repression perpetrated by the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and to advocate for the human rights of the Syrian people. Ford has used social media to establish channels of communication directly with the Syrian people, providing moral support and encouraging them to embrace non-violent protest in the face of government-backed brutality. A former Peace Corps volunteer and then career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, Ford has risked his own safety to show solidarity with ordinary Syrians and to defend the rights of protesters opposing Assad's regime. He has continued to engage directly with opposition leaders, traveling around Syria despite repeated threats on his life. Ford will be honored for the courageous example he has set and the light he has shone on the power of creative and robust diplomacy to serve as a vital tool for advancing human rights.

This year's recipients of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation's prestigious award for political courage were selected by a distinguished bipartisan committee of national, political, and community leaders. Albert R. Hunt, executive Washington editor of Bloomberg News, chairs the 13-member Profile in Courage Award Committee. Committee members are U.S. Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards ( D-Maryland ) ; Kenneth R. Feinberg, Chairman of the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation; U.S. Senator Lindsey O. Graham ( R-South Carolina ) ; Antonia Hernandez, president and chief executive officer of the California Community Foundation; Elaine Jones, former director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation; Paul G. Kirk, Jr., former U.S. Senator ( D-Massachusetts ) and Chairman Emeritus of the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation; Martha Minow, Dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Shari Redstone, President, National Amusements, Inc; John Seigenthaler, founder of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University; David M. Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; and U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe ( R-Maine ) . Tom McNaught, executive director of the Kennedy Library Foundation, staffs the Committee.

This article shared 4135 times since Tue Mar 6, 2012
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

WORLD Church of England, World Cup news, court rulings, Justin Trudeau
The Church of England is defending the scrutinized guidance for its 4,700 primary schools on LGBTQ+ issues, claiming that it doesn't allow students as young as 5 to self-identify as the opposite sex, The Christian Post ...

Gay News

NATIONAL $1M donation, church departures, Harvey Milk, abortions, Grindr
In Ohio, Dayton-based insurance company CareSource is donating $1 million to United Church Homes to support the development of a senior living facility at the site of the former Longfellow School that will also aim at ...

Gay News

Gay candidates Lopez, Lawson file papers for 2023 aldermanic race
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward), an openly gay City Council member who has been an ardent foe of Mayor Lightfoot, announced Nov. 21 that he was dropping his bid for Lightfoot's mayoral seat, and would instead ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT The geopolitics of being Brittney Griner
WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. On Feb. 17, the Russian Federal Customs Service detained Griner at Sheremetyevo International Airport for allegedly transporting cannabis-derived ...

Gay News

Senate marriage equality bill advances with 62-37 bipartisan vote
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators voted 62-37 for cloture—the end of debate—for the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), signaling passage in the near future for the measure that enshrines marriage equality into federal law. The ...

Gay News

Reports: Senate to vote on marriage equality law Nov. 16
The U.S. Senate will vote on a measure enshrining marriage equality into law Wednesday, according to reports. Supporters of the measure, known as the Respect for Marriage Act, which aims to protect against an eventual repeal ...

Gay News

Gay man to head Chicago Latino Theater Alliance
The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced the appointment of Jorge Valdivia as its new executive director, according to the Lawndale News. Valdivia's previous position was director of performing arts at the National Museum of Mexic ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Political results, communicable-disease law, Urvashi Vaid
Sharice Davids won the election for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District. In 2018, she made history when she became the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to Congress from Kansas and one of the first two Native American women ever ...

Gay News

WORLD Indian judge, marriage items, LGBTQ+-friendly countries
A judge who could pave the way to legalizing marriage equality in India took charge as chief justice, Bloomberg reported. As a judge on the top court, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud was a member of the five-member ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal challenges anti-HIV military policy
Lambda Legal filed a legal challenge to the U.S. military policy that prevents people living with HIV from enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces, according to a press release. The current policy requires that applicants for ...

Gay News

Brittney Griner sent to Russian penal colony
U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been moved from a detention center outside of Moscow to a Russian penal colony to begin serving out her nine-year sentence on drug smuggling charges, NPR reported. A statement from ...

Gay News

ABA names recipients of 2023 Stonewall Award honoring LGBT advancements in legal profession
-- From a press release - CHICAGO, Nov. 7, 2022 — Three longstanding LGBT legal activists will be honored by the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with its 10th annual Stonewall Award during a ceremony on Feb. ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Birth certificates, university items, drag-show standoff, 'Models of Pride'
Following a lawsuit from ACLU, ACLU of West Virginia and the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Vital Registration Office has introduced more accessible and safer policies ...

Gay News

WORLD World Cup, Ukraine president, purge survivors, Eddie Izzard
Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Qatar's ambassador to the UK, said LGBTQ+ couples visiting the country for the World Cup can "hold hands" but should be mindful of "public displays of affection," according to PinkNews. He told ...

Gay News

N.Y. governor signs bill that helps LGBTQ+ seniors
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law making New York the latest state to expand the accessibility of services to LGBTQ+ people ages 60 and older—a demographic that is disproportionately affected by poverty ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.