One Iowa Director Says Iowa Families Deserve Better From Family Leadership Summit
One Iowa's executive director issued a statement today blasting the Family Leadership Summit for not representing "all Iowans." The summit will be held Saturday in Waukee.
An organization supporting full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals issued a statement today asking organizers of the Family Leadership Summit to support all families regardless of their make-up.
Donna Red Wing, executive director of One Iowa, issued a statement this morning saying that Iowa families need leadership that supports them regardless of who makes up the family component.
“Iowa families deserve a true Leadership Summit that speaks for all Iowans," she said. "What Iowa families need are true political leaders who value all families. We need political leaders who understand that the Defense of Marriage Act hurts children of married same-sex couples, and that stigma and bias are incarcerating Iowans simply because they are HIV positive. We need leaders who see that our broken immigration system is ripping apart bi-national same-sex couples and that our federal government still refuses to recognize the brave spouses of soldiers and veterans."
The Family Leadership Summit being held at Waukee's Point of Grace church Saturday is hosted by The Family Leader, an organization that "champions the principle that God is the ultimate leader of the family." The summit is supported by the National Organization for Marriage, ActRight and Citizens United organizations.
Three former presidential candidates - Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mike Huckabee - are scheduled to speak at the all-day Summit. Also among the list of speakers are Congressman Steve King, Sen. Chuck Grassley, media panelists Sam Clovis, Steve Deace, and Jan Mickelson, Joel Rosenberg, David Bossie from Citizens United, Brian Brown from the National Organization for Marriage, and Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The Family Leader.
Vander Plaats is a familiar and powerful presence in Iowa Republican politics. He has run unsuccessfully for governor three times, but two years ago was able to harness opposition to the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling that allowed same-sex marriage. That opposition ousted three members of the court who were up for retention in 2010.
Last week the Republican Party of Iowa urged voters to oust Justice David Wiggins for his vote on the same sex marriage ruling, saying that he was among a handful of judges who overstepped his authority in deciding the matter. Wiggins will be on the November ballot for retention.
Vander Plaats also helped galvanize conservative pastors opposed to same-sex marriage. One of those was Jeff Mullen, pastor of Point of Grace Church where the summit will be held. Mullen earlier this year lost a GOP primary race, where he campaigned in part on his opposition to gay marriage.
Vander Plaats wouldn't specify the topics on Saturday's agenda, but said "marriage between a man and a woman" would be among them.
"We need leaders who fight injustice and embrace equality," said Red Wing. "We need leaders who represent true Iowa values.”