Anti-gay bullying has usually been something even ardent conservatives have come out against. Usually, but not in the case of more than a dozen Republican legislators in Iowa, who are threatening to defund a community college unless it stops sponsoring an LGBT-youth conference this week.
In all, 16 lawmakers signed a pledge to cut $25 million in state funding from the Des Moines Area Community College, which is helping to put together the Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, which is organized by Iowa Safe Schools.
They also attacked LGBT advocates for speaking out against anti-gay radio host Jan Mickelson, who has said that AIDS is God’s punishment, that “homosexuality is intrinsically promiscuous,,” and that a busload of nuns protesting Paul Ryan’s budget measures should be “pistol-whipped.”
At a press conference on Thursday, the Iowa Family Leader issued a statement. (In case you’ve forgotten the Iowa Family Leader is head by our old friend Rep. Bob Vander Plaats):
Based on our desire and commitment to be faithful stewards of our tax dollars, we cannot in good conscience vote to give taxpayer dollars to people or to groups who pervert the Bible, teach our youth to engage in dangerous behavior, and target individuals like Jan Mickelson for hatred and bullying.
We have proof that the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Diversity Commission is using tuition and taxpayer monies to sponsor the Governor’s LGBTQ Youth Conference, as a result of information obtained by the DMACC Young Americans for Freedom chapter, through a Freedom of information Act (FOIA) request.
Therefore, we Representatives of the people of Iowa, will vote against appropriations for DMACC unless they withhold taxpayers’ dollars from the Governor’s LGBTQ Youth Conference.
What’s going on in this conference that has lawmakers so livid? A skim of the schedule reveals workshops on lesbians in the media, substance-abuse prevention, homophobia in sports and how to address bullying. Scary stuff indeed.