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02/15/2011

Family Leader backs away from 'Second-Hand' program; but why did it happen on the firsthand?

by Jeremy Hooper

The Iowa Family leader is now publicly distancing itself from the "gays are a public health hazard like smoking so they should 'change' their lifestyles" programs that its host organization, the Iowa Family Policy Center, proudly hosted. This from Iowa Independent:

A link to a seminar series that presents homosexuality and its “second-hand effects” as a public health threat has been removed from the website of The Family Leader. Leader Screenshot-300X238

Julie Summa, director of marketing and public outreach for The Family Leader, said the seminar series has not been offered for around two years. However, up until Tuesday, a link to the seminar’s website was made available to anyone who signed up for e-mail updates on the group’s 99-county “Capturing Momentum Tour.” The Family Leader’s phone number is listed as contact info for anyone interested in booking the seminar.

When asked by The Iowa Independent why, if the series has not been offered for two years, it continues to be advertised on The Family Leader’s website, Summa said it was a mistake.

“The Second Hand Effects link shouldn’t be on our ‘Capturing Momentum Tour’ web page, which was created from an old template,” she said. “We plan to remove it as you are correct, we do not currently offer the seminar and have not had a full seminar in about two years.”

KEEP READING: The Family Leader has removed link to anti-gay seminars [Iowa Independent]

Right, the link should't be on the Family Leader's page. But here's the thing: This particularly heinous anti-gay program shouldn't be ON ANYONE'S PAGE, ANYWHERE, EVER! But it was part of this collective Iowa effort for quite some time: Created by the same staff, stewarded in the same mindset, and used to rally the same locals that the Family Leader is currently hoping to grab! So The Family Leader can't just kill the link and expect it to be all better. They (meaning the broader coalition of which they are part) has done great damage to the discourse, while giving us all an open window into how this organization thinks. They'll have to forgive us if we keep crawling through that window for some time to come.

Oh, and as for Bob Vander Plaats striving to put distance between himself and the program? Well yes, as we've mentioned before, the program does predate his official time heading The Family Leader, as The Fmaily Leader concept has only existed for a couple of months. But the truth is that former candidate Vander Plaats has long been part of the Iowa movement that is now operating under the Family Leader umbrella. He was speaking with them long before he was speaking for them:

So yea, okay, good that those involved are essentially repudiating this connection. But are they sorry they made it happen, or simply sorry they got caught?

***

*EARLIER: Our video, which got this whole ball rolling:

By the way, if one enters "http://web.me.com/thefamilyleader/" in an address bar, it still upconverts to "http://web.me.com/thefamilyleader/The_Second-Hand_Effects_of_Same-Sex_Marriage/Home.html"

***

*Oh, and by the way: If they haven't done a program in two years, then why is the most heinous part, the so-called "facts packet" (which is still fully downloadable) dated 10/13/10? http://secondhandeffects.com/The_Second-Hand_Effects_of_Same-Sex_Marriage/Downloads/Entries/2010/10/13_Facts_Packet.html

According to our calendar, 1013/10 would be just a few months ago -- around the same time that Bob Vander Plaats was touring Iowa with this same IFPC crew on the so-called "Iowa For Freedom" campaign.

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