Corning “robocall” on gay marriage

Former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Joy Corning — who describes herself as a “moderate Republican” — has recorded a telephone message for One Iowa, a group that supports same-sex marriage.

“Hi, this is former Lieutenant Governor Joy Corning,” the recording begins.  “Iowa has a well-deserved reputation for being open-minded and fair. That’s why I’m proud to be a supporter of One Iowa.  Our Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of civil marriage for committed gay and lesbian couples, continuing Iowa’s tradition of protecting the civil rights of all Iowans.  Please join with me to ensure that Iowa continues to move forward as a leader for fairness and equality.”

Corning was Iowa’s lieutenant governor from January, 1991 through January, 1999.  Former Governor Terry Branstad chose Corning as his running mate in 1990.  At the time, the Democratic Party’s 1990 nominee for governor (Don Avenson) chose a pro-choice woman as his running mate (Jo Ann Zimmerman) and Branstad then chose a pro-choice woman as his running mate.

I talked with Corning this afternoon by phone and asked if her open support of gay marriage and the public attention this phone message will draw would harm Branstad’s 2010 campaign for a fifth term.  She said, in response:  “I don’t know. Governor Branstad and I were in office for eight years together and though we had differing viewpoints on some of the social issues, we agreed on basic Republican principles which sometimes these days I think people have strayed from those traditional principles from Lincoln’s time and have concentrated on social issues.”

One of Branstad’s rivals for the Republican Party’s 2010 gubernatorial nomination suggested Corning is a stalking horse, of sorts, for Branstad.  The Iowa Family Policy Center issued a statement, too.  Read both below.


DES MOINES – Former Lt. Gov. Joy Corning’s announcement that she has recorded a statewide call urging Republicans to support same-sex marriage reflects how out of touch she is with mainstream Iowans’ stance on the issue, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats said this afternoon.

Corning, who was selected by then-Gov. Terry Branstad to serve two terms as his lieutenant governor, said she had recorded the call on behalf of the pro-gay marriage group One Iowa because she believes “it would be nice if we had at least one gubernatorial candidate that was espoused to mainstream traditional centrist values instead of concentrating on those far right social values.”

“This is the sort of thing that happens when you appoint a lieutenant governor who is completely out of step with Iowans’ values,” Vander Plaats said. “As we celebrate Veterans Day, the beauty of America is that our men and women in the military fought to protect our rights, including the right to free speech. The former lieutenant governor is entitled to her opinion, but I’m certain that she is the one who is outside of the mainstream not only in Iowa but across the United States. The belief that the institution of marriage as one man and one woman is simple, settled and overwhelmingly supported. That is why voters in 31 states that have voted on the issue have voted every single time to affirm marriage as one man and one woman. It is the foundation of our society.”

The Sioux City Republican said the timing of Corning’s call is “too obvious to overlook.”

“Terry Branstad enters the governor’s race on Saturday night without stating where he truly stands on the issue and on Tuesday night his lieutenant governor does an automated call urging Iowans to support same-sex marriages. All of that takes place not too long after his former chief of staff wrote an opinion piece saying the Republican Party needs to nominate a candidate with ‘centrist’ views on social issues,” Vander Plaats said. “Urging Iowans to support same-sex marriage is not only out of touch with Republican values but it is overwhelmingly out of touch with Main Street Iowa.”

He added, “If you listened closely to his speech on Saturday night, Terry Branstad did not say he supports one-man, one-woman marriage. He said he would break the legislative logjam that is preventing a referendum by Iowans. That’s not the same thing.  If he wants to break the road block, he should join me by committing to sign an executive order banning additional same-sex marriages on day one in office until Iowans have a right to vote on the issue.”

IFPC Action Responds To Joy Corning

11/11/08 Pleasant Hill, IA – In response to media inquiries regarding thousands of automated pro-homosexual “marriage” phone calls to Iowans from former Lt. Governor Joy Corning, IFPC Action wishes to publicly thank Corning for reminding Iowans why it is such a bad idea to compromise with political figures who do not promote Iowa values. Corning, a public supporter of abortion and homosexuality, would have little or no public platform from which to undermine the traditional family if she had not served as Lt. Governor.

Corning, who has served on the board of Planned Parenthood, also partnered with former Lt. Governor Sally Pederson in signing a letter to the editor promoting homosexuality shortly after the April Supreme Court Opinion concerning the definition of marriage.  The current recorded phone messages are consistent with Corning’s long-standing anti-family ideology and leftist political social agenda.

According to IFPC Action President Chuck Hurley, “She would never have become Lt. Governor without the electoral support of tens of thousands of Christians and conservatives, and we have no one to blame for this but ourselves.” He went on to say, “Joy Corning has given us another clear example of just exactly why as Christians and conservatives we should no longer sacrifice our convictions for perceived political victories. When we elect people like Joy Corning, we elevate and advance the destruction of the family.”

With the 2010 campaign now in full swing, many Iowans are beginning to pay more attention to where candidates stand on key issues.  Hurley said, “We need reminders from time to time as to why personal convictions and party platforms are so important, and Joy Corning has given us a gift that punctuates the need for a new paradigm in Iowa politics.”

IFPC Action is a non-profit organization dedicated to equipping, empowering and encouraging Iowans to build communities where families are valued and strengthened.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. […] heresy. Corning, who served as Branstad’s lieutenant governor/running mate in 1990 and 1994, recorded a robo-call expressing her support for gay marriage. Sources say the issue is somewhat touchy. “Hi, this is former Lieutenant […]