Taxpayer Money Used To Fight Gay Marriage in Iowa

The AP reports that a conservative group used federal money to fund a campaign against gay marriage in Iowa.

And it gets worse: the group is a subsidiary of the The Family Leader, sponsor of the crazy marriage pledge that Bachmann and Perry have signed.

The $2.2 million grant from the Dept. of Health and Human Services was supposed to be spent on marriage counseling. But the group, calling itself the Iowa Family Policy Center, evidently has a loose definition of "marriage counseling," because it used some of the taxpayer money to wage a campaign against three state supreme-court justices who legalized gay marriage in Iowa. And what marriage counseling the group did do, it denied to gay couples. So not only was taxpayer money used to fund an anti-gay-marriage crusade; it also went to support discrimination.

Looking at the Iowa Family Policy Center's website, it's hard to imagine how federal officials justified giving them taxpayer dollars in the first place. It says right there on the homepage:

IFPC, a 501(c)3 organization, believes that presenting the truth through education is fundamental in reversing the breakdown of a productive, ordered society caused by the failure of families to produce God-fearing church, civic, social, and family leaders.  One of IFPC’s key strategies is to engage Christians with truthful, biblical, and consistent messages.

Then the group talks about its partnership with the The Truth Project® - "a powerful DVD-based small group Christian worldview curriculum produced by Focus on the Family."

And these guys got $2.2 million in federal funds. How is that legal?

Now for the good news! Iowa's senate leader is vowing to block a proposed anti-gay-marriage amendment before it can come to a vote in the state legislature.

More AFTER THE JUMP...

Michael Gronstal is a Democrat, and his legislative power will allow him to keep the amendment dormant for at least several years. The aforementioned Family Policy Center has been lobbying for its ratification.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gronstal said he knows his stand against letting voters decide whether to amend the Iowa Constitution to ban gay marriage could hurt him with some constituents, but he was willing to take the risk…

"I'm not going to put discrimination into the state's constitution," said Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs.

Gronstal said he believes his position on gay marriage will attract as many voters as it repels.

"My read is the public at large is changing pretty significantly," Gronstal said. "It used to be that if you're under the age of 30, two-thirds of you were probably fine with gay marriage and if you were over 50, two-thirds of you were against it."

Now, Gronstal said, "more like two-thirds of the people under 40 are fine with it."

Can you imagine that? A politician siding with young people against the outdated attitudes of an older generation? A politician holding to a principle even though he knows it will cost him some votes? If only there were more Gronstals around when 30 states ratified anti-gay-marriage/civil-union amendments over the last decade.

Posted August 28, 2011 at 1:45pm ETC by Penn Bullock
in Julie Bindel