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Vander Plaats Responds To ‘Faggot’ Joke Controversy: ‘We Speak The Truth And Love’

FAMiLY LEADER President Bob Vander Plaats responded to a petition from LGBT groups asking him to apologize for laughing and praising an offensive “faggot” joke during a March event in Audubon, Iowa. In an interview with WHO Newsradio this afternoon, Vander Plaats defended himself by saying he never used the “f” word and claiming that he was targeted by “gay activists” who were threatened by his group’s success:

VANDER PLAATS: The reason they’ve got this and the reason they think this is gold. They sent someone to all 99 counties, three stops a day, and they video taped everything….and so they have a 45-second clip. I think the tactic, Jan is, they want to point us out as being fearful and hateful. They wan to point out Bob Vander Plaats and the FAMiLY Leader — they’re fearful, they’re hateful. Absolutely not. Our goal is to love people, but to speak the truth in love. […] They see us taking ground for the family. […] I did not say those words, I would never utter those words. Again, we speak the truth and love.

Listen:

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Vander Plaats has also come under criticism from Republicans for his extreme views on social issues. In a video clip first published by ThinkProgress the FAMiLY LEADER head — who has previously compared same-sex marriage to second-hand smoking — is seen laughing at the following joke: “You know what my wife says? She says: Iowa, the state where you can’t smoke a fag, but you can marry one.” Vander Plaats responded with, “Oh shoot, that’s pretty good, that’s pretty good. Oh shoot.” Watch it:

One Iowa’s petition asking Vander Plaats to apologize for his reaction currently has 1,479 signers.