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Bob Vander Plaats: 'Okay, so I deny your worth as a fair, free, healthy citizen. Chocolate chip?'

by Jeremy Hooper

If one goes to one's address bar and enters the url "http://web.me.com/thefamilyleader/," the text string will automatically upconvert to the (now-dead) url: "http://web.me.com/thefamilyleader/The_Second-Hand_Effects_of_Same-Sex_Marriage/Home.html". Go ahead. Try it. Unless they've scrubbed the evidence by the time you're reading this (which would be typical for the "pro-family" crowd), the result will come out like we said.

But why does this particular addy do this, you ask? Well, because The Family Leader, Bob Vander Plaats new "protect marriage" group with deep conservative ties, is (along with its parent organization, the Iowa Family Policy Center) connected to a truly nasty "gays=smoking/ gays need to 'change'" campaign called "The Second Hand Effects of Same-Sex Marriage." A campaign that, for the past couple of years, has been hosting seminars across the state (much like how The Family Leader is touring the state right now). A campaign that uses over-the-top imagery which replaces the cigarette with gays' wedding bands:

Screen Shot 2011-01-21 At 7.56.59 Am

A campaign that recently disseminated to fellow Iowans (with an emphasis on preachers) information packets that are chock full of truly nasty, truly over-the-top, truly misinformative junk science from fringe "news" sources. A campaign with a sole focus on painting gays as a public health hazard.

Though we gays shall not worry about that heinous attempt to adorn a rich, vibrant population sect with a Surgeon General's warning label. For tomorrow, if we are to show up in Des Moines for House panel hearings on a bill that would repeal marriage equality in the state, Mr. Vander Plaats and his crew will make it all better. Make it all right. Right the wrong. Heal the wound. Wash clean the anti-LGBT community's discriminatory hands. Put a smile on even the most battle-hardened of slighted queer humans.

They will do all of this with a cookie, or perhaps a petit four:

The state's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, The Family Leader, which is headed by former GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats, has announced it will hold a prayer meeting in support of the bill in Room 305 from 12 to 1PM.

“Several of us plan to bring a token of Christian love (like a small bag of cookies or other treats) to share with homosexual activists who we'll be encountering Monday,” the group wrote in a newsletter to supporters. “It's time we dispel lies about Christians, by tangibly showing love to people who struggle with homosexuality.”

Hearings On Gay Marriage Ban Set For Monday In Iowa House [On Top Magazine]

Hmm. By "other treats," we presume they don't mean wedding cake. Nicorette gum, perhaps. And definitely lots of things made out of Devil's Food, so as to snap footage of gays consuming Beelzebub's batter for use in The Family Leader's next fear ad. But certainly no matrimonial pastries.

At this point it remains unclear if Mr. Vander Plaats thinks he can wash his hands clean of all his life's slightings, or if gays hold a special place in his heart. Though one of our Iowan readers did tonight spot Mr. V-P in a local bakery buying a cake that reads: "Sorry I stole your lunch money -- Hopefully you like buttercream."


*UPDATE: Actually, it seems to be IFPC's other top dog, Chuck Hurley, who signed the IFPC/Family Leader cookie e-blast. Here's the full text:

Reminder on Marriage:
The first sub-committee meeting on the Iowa Marriage Amendment (IMA) will be held next Monday afternoon at 1 PM in Room 305 at the State Capitol. We expect the room to be very crowded with supporters, opponents, press, lobbyists and lawmakers.

IMPORTANT REMINDER – Please try to be at the Capitol on Monday to show support for marriage at this sub-committee meeting. Concerned Women for America will be holding a lunch and prayer event that day, and you can show support for them at the same time.

We will hold a prayer meeting in Room 305 from 12 to 1 PM; I urge you to join us. This will also allow you a better chance to get a seat for the 1 PM meeting. Several of us plan to bring a token of Christian love (like a small bag of cookies or other treats) to share with homosexual activists who we’ll be encountering Monday. It’s time we dispel lies about Christians, by tangibly showing love to people who struggle with homosexuality.

What: Sub-Committee Meeting, House Joint Resolution 6, Iowa Marriage Amendment

Who: Rep. Alons (R), Chair; Rep. Hagenow (R); Rep. Wessel-Kroeschell (D)

When: Monday, January 24, 2011, 1:00 PM

Where: Room 305 (Third floor, House side, in the very Northeast corner of the Capitol Bldg.), Iowa State Capitol
It is expected that the bill will be debated by the full Judiciary Committee in Room 102 at the Committee’s 4:00 PM meeting.

Once again, please let us know at [email protected] if you are able to visit the Capitol and talk with legislators; Danny or I will be happy to assist. We want one or more pro-marriage supporters there each day until the IMA passes in the Senate, and we are scheduling people to fill all the days, Mondays to Thursdays, through March.

Blessings in Christ,

Chuck Hurley

President, Iowa Family Policy Center

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