Yesterday, The FAMiLY LEADER organized a rally in the Iowa State Capitol, calling for the right to vote to ban same-sex marriage in a state where it has been legal for nearly three years. Among the speakers were The FAMiLY LEADER’s Bob Vander Plaats and the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, both of whom attacked families by comparing same-sex marriage to polygamy, incest, and slavery:
VANDER PLAATS: If we want marriage equality, let’s just stop for a second. Why stop at same-sex? Why not have polygamy? Why not have a dad marry his son or marry his daughter? If we’re going to have marriage equality, let’s open this puppy up and let’s have marriage equality. Otherwise, let’s stick to the way God designed it: one man and one woman, period.
BROWN: We are walking in the same steps of William Wilberforce, who in the late 1800s, stood up and said “No” to the slave trade. He was mocked. Powerful forces, politicians, derided him and said, “Why are you bring your faith into this? This is just the way things work. This is the economy. If we ban the slave trade, where are we going to get our dollars and cents.” William Wilberforce said “No.” When they told him, “Keep your preaching in the four square walls of your church,” he said “No.” What did he do? He stood up and spoke truth to power. We need heroes at a time like this. We need people who will not be shouted down, who will not be silenced… We will resolutely stand up for God’s truth that marriage is by definition the union of one man and one woman.
Watch their speeches:
For what it’s worth, Wilberforce’s abolition work was not in the late 1800s, nor was it even in the United States. And while he was a vocal abolitionist, he disapproved of women in the abolition movement, Catholics holding public office, and the printing of newspapers on Sunday, which suggests he’s perhaps not the best choice for guidance on social morality.
While Vander Plaats tried to claim that his position was not about “hate,” these comments represent a blatant defamation of same-sex families and an intent to legislate discrimination. Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D), who has ensured that no amendment to ban same-sex marriage can advance, made it clear this weekend that he’s not intimidated by the opposition’s rally. At a counterpoint press conference outside the Capitol, openly gay Iowa Sen. Matt McCoy (D) said that “Bob Vander Plaats needs to get a real job instead of working on spreading a message of hate and discrimination.”