Last week, Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper put together a video exposing the anti-gay rhetoric of The Family Leader, a conservative group spearheading the repeal same-sex-marriage campaign in Iowa. President Bob Vander Plaats publicly presents the organization as a traditional religious group that is more interested in restoring biblical values than slandering gay people, but more quietly describes homosexuality as a public health crisis akin to smoking, and endorses discredited ex-gay reversal therapies.
Yesterday, I interviewed Iowa State Rep. Dwayne Alons (R) — a co-sponsor of Iowa’s anti-gay marriage bill — in the state capitol and asked him if he agreed with the Family Leader’s characterizations. Alons did, reciting some bullet points from the Family Leader’s “fact sheet” and suggesting that defining marriage between a man and a woman would reverse these “problems to society”:
TP: There is also this argument that argues that homosexuality is a public health hazard, that there are higher rates of STDs and higher rates of other diseases. Do you agree with that view?
ALONS: I think that whole lifestyle has brought a lot of problems to society…For the most part when you look at some of the issues that have been brought up by homosexuals’ lifestyle, there are a lot of negatives that have been brought into society and I think government is trying to deal with that and should be dealing with.
TP: And what kind of negatives, do you think?
ALONS: Well, look at all that has been spent, you know, with the AIDS and with the issues related to the dying at an early age. I think life, longevity, of a lot of these folks is below 50, when you know, the normal people that do not enter into that kind of relationship, their either late into their 70s or early 80s for longevity. A lot more actual productive years and contributing to society. [...]
TP: So do you think there are ways for the state to discourage this kind of behavior that leads to the kind of public health problems that you’ve described?
ALONS: I think having a limitation on one man and one woman would be a pathway to get that as a basic foundational direction.
Alons supported Vander Plaats in his recent gubernatorial campaign, even nominating the GOP gubernatorial candidate “for the Lieutenant Governor slot on the ticket” at the Republican Iowa convention. Plaats ultimately lost to Governor Terry Branstad’s pick of Sen. Kim Reynolds.
Transcript: Read more