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01/13/2011

Iowa's Family Leader tour: To where, exactly, do they wish to lead the state's gays?

by Jeremy Hooper

Today, when casually looking for information on how Bob Vander Plaats' "Family Leader" tour is going in Iowa, we found some hidden data that shows concretely just how extremely this group -- and its larger parent organization, the Iowa Family Policy Council -- views not only gay people's marriages, but also their innate lives. It's information that shows concretely what sort of "leadership" Vander Plaats and crew are hoping to impose onto The Hawkeye State. Misrepresentative data that cuts right through the "it's only about marriage" spin. Let's begin.

So our sleuthing started when we went to The Family Leader's host domain (thefamilyleader.com). Typically when one clicks the "Capturing Momentum Tour" logo on that page, he or she is directed to an obscure address that begins with http://www.web.me (Apple's Mobile Me service), and looks something like this:

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But for some reason or fluke (or kismet?), on one of the times we clicked the icon, we instead got this url:

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We found that odd. Because "The second hands effect of same-sex marriage"? That totally sounds like an attempt to connect homosexual orientations to something like smoking. And since Vander Plaats and company act like their fight is all about the ring finger and not the gay human, we would be surprised if they were making some of the anti-gay movement's more hidden goals known to the public at large. So naturally, we began digging to see what this is all about.

And guess what? It turns out that IFPC totally DOES have a program called "The SecondHand Effects of Same-Sex Marriage! In fact, they've been conducting under-the-radar seminars using this very title, primarily to rally pastors into the fight against marriage equality. This promotion comes from IFPC's associated website, SecondHandEffects.com:

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But from here, it gets even more shocking. And revelatory. And disturbing, And conclusively designed to "change" the state's gays into the scientifically-shunned state of "ex-gayness."

On this Second Hand Effect's site, we found a link to a packet of information that IFPC has been sending around to all interested parties, both in CD and email form. The packet is simply teeming with far-right spin from the likes of Brian Camenker and Matt Barber, with titles like "Gay Sex Kills," as well as from "ex-gay" advocacy groups like NARTH. Sources include the nothing-if-not misrepresentative Lifesite News, Renew America, and WorldNetDaily. And, just as suspected, much of the information is meant to liken gay relationships themselves to cigarette smoking, and to paint gays as intrinsically diseased. Here are some screen caps from the packet:

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Smoke-Slide
Screen Shot 2011-01-13 At 9.31.47 Am

Oh, and the packet also contains confidential documents showing how they spin and twist and strategize about us behind our backs. Documents from people like the National Organization For Marriage's onetime general counsel, Charles LiMandri:

(*Note the source links. Free Republic? AFTAH?)

Screen Shot 2011-01-13 At 9.33.38 Am

This is the state's big marriage group! The one that led the charge to fire three judges. The one that will not rest until this spin, disinformation, and fight against people rather than disease is codified into the state's civil law.

But don't take our word for any of it: Download the packet for yourself and see the kind of junk science and outright offense that this crew (who we've already conclusively linked to Bob Vander Plaats' current "Family Leader" tour) is cultivating behind the scenes:

Downloadable "Facts Packet" [IFPC's Second Hand Effects microsite]
*Don't worry, we've saved a local copy if they scrub theirs

We've already sent to Iowa media outlets. It's time they start asking the real questions here! Because it's clearly not just about the canard of "judicial activism" or the ridiculous notion of "protecting marriage." This is a war against gays lives and loves. It's time the stakes, goals, and underlying motivations are accurately represented!

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