The New York Times offers this profile of Bob Vander Plaats, the four-time failed Iowa gubernatorial candidate who is now playing kingmaker in the Iowa caucuses. Vander Plaats served as a state chair for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential bid, ran a successful campaign to recall three judges who overturned the state’s Defense of Marriage Act (and allowed gay and lesbians to marry) and is now the head of the FAMiLY Leader, the group spearheading a campaign to revoke same-sex marriage in Iowa. The Leader is hosting a Presidential Lecture Series for likely 2012 contenders and Plaats is touring the state to promote his anti-gay marriage message.
The Times has a sampling of his messaging:
“If you’re gonna void one-man, one-woman marriage, why would you limit it to same-sex?” Vander Plaats asked. He wore the only suit in the room. Women were dressed in turtlenecks under sweatshirts; men, in collared shirts with pen-stuffed pockets. There is a wagon wheel and a cowboy boot nailed to the wall and, right behind Vander Plaats, a plastic wreath dotted with miniature Conestoga wagons. “Why not open it up! Bisexual, polygamy, multiple women? Why not? Either you’re going to stand for something or you’re gonna fall for anything.”
In another stop in Sergeant Bluff, IA:
“Where does it end? That’s why I gave the example there. The polygamist, does he have an issue there? I think he does. Someone who’s bisexual and wants to marry a man and a woman, I think they’ve got an issue. A dad that wants to marry his son?” Asked Vander Plaats.
Vander Plaats told his audience to be biblical, not political. Then he called for the remaining supreme court justices to resign for not upholding the constitution.
Until recently, the Leader’s website also directed readers to SecondHandEffects.com, which describes homosexuality as a public health crisis akin to smoking and endorses discredited ex-gay reversal therapies.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) already appeared before the group in February and other GOP hopefuls like Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann are all scheduled to deliver a lecture on “family” throughout the year. Before each speech, the candidates also meet with an invitation-only Leadership Roundtable.