Bob Vander Plaats Hub

Iowa Conservative Bob Vander Plaats Says Polygamy Ruling Will Lead To Child-Parent Marriages

During a Tuesday radio interview, anti-gay bigot Bob Vander Plaats (pictured) — founder of the oddly capitalized "pro-family" organization The FAMiLY LEADER — said that the recent court ruling decriminalizing polygamy in Utah is the result of recent marriage equality court victories and will ultimately lead to "parents marrying their adult children for tax purposes."

VanderPlaats joins other anti-gay conservatives — like Rick Santorum, Bill O'Reilly, the so-called the National Organization for Marriage, Focus on the Family and the hate group the Family Research Council — in repeating the long-held claim that marriage equality will lead to legalized polygamy. But Plaats goes a step further by connecting same-sex marriage to eventual child-adult marriage (though he stops short of saying that such a relationship would involve sex).

Keep in mind, this is a man who considers homosexuality a public health risk like smoking, laughs at "faggot jokes" and asked all the 2012 GOP presidential candidates to sign a pledge declaring that black families were stronger under slavery.

However, Zack Ford from Think Progress explained why Vander Plaats' and his cronies' slippery slope thinking is bunk (in short because the polygamy defendants didn't want legal recognition of their polygamous marriage to begin with and because the previous court ruling that helped their case centered entirely around bedroom privacy of consenting adults, not children):

In a sense, it’s true that a victory for gay rights led to this decision, but not because it was a victory for gay rights. The basic outcome of [Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the country’s so-called “sodomy laws” criminalizing same-sex relations] is that the government cannot intrude on what happens in adults’ bedrooms so long as it’s consensual; it just so happens that the same principle can apply to the multiple marriages some Mormons have or that plenty of people from other faiths have practiced since the Old Testament.

But this victory for polygamy is not likely to even impact the LGBT community. Brown and his wives seemingly identify as heterosexual; the term “sister wives” specifically connotes that the wives do not have sexual relationships with each other. It is not people with same-sex orientations who are vying for polygamy.

More importantly, this case reinforces the distinction between legal marriage and religious marriage that is often lost in debates. The LGBT equality movement is not particularly interested in forcing any religious organization to bless same-sex marriages, but is focused on achieving equal protection under the law for same-sex families. Conversely, polygamists are not currently fighting for legal recognition, but for the right to freely practice their religious beliefs without facing criminal prosecution.

You can hear Vander Plaats' radio interview clip AFTER THE JUMP...


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Rachel Maddow Blasts NOM's Collaboration with Russia on Anti-Gay Laws: VIDEO


Rachel Maddow last night launched into a condemnation of Russia's anti-gay adoption laws, and the country's next plan: to take children away from gay parents.

Maddow then looks at the anti-gay American activists that are throwing their full approval behind what Russia is doing - wingnuts like Bob Van Der Plaats, Bryan Fischer, and, more specifically, NOM's Brian Brown, who, as Towleroad has reported, traveled to Russia to collaborate with lawmakers there in support of the anti-gay laws.

Brown has been accused of violating the U.S. Logan Act by making this trip.

Maddow then makes note of Brown's scheduled speech today at the Values Voter Summit, and the top-level Republicans that are offering their blessing to this anti-gay collaborator.

Watch the excellent segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Despite Fierce Campaign by Anti-Gay Activists, Iowans Retain Pro-Equality Justice David Wiggins: VIDEO

Last election, anti-gay activists in the state of Iowa punished three Supreme Court justices who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. Yesterday, they tried to punish a fourth, Justice David Wiggins.

WigginsBut they did not succeed.

The Des Moines Register reports:

Wiggins, 61, needed a simple majority of votes to stay on high court. With 83 percent of Iowa’s 1,689 precincts reported, Wiggins had 54 percent.

“As I understand the numbers, I think we did get a decisive win” that hopefully will prevent future challenges to judges, said Iowa State Bar Association Cynthia Moser. “We’ve very pleased with the numbers we received.”

Bob Vander Plaats, head of the Iowans For Freedom committee that spearheaded a campaign to oust Wiggins, conceded defeat late Tuesday. However, he said the apparent small margin for retention was “not a great validation for Justice Wiggins.”

Thousands of voters on Tuesday repeated the message sent two years ago that they didn’t want the courts to make law, Vander Plaats said. “I think the courts understand that people of Iowa still have a voice if they chose to go outside their constitutional boundaries.”

Said HRC President Chad Griffin:

"Iowans have made a strong statement for judicial independence and refused to let politics get in the way of judges doing their duty to uphold the law. Right-wing groups trying to exact political retribution on judges should learn their lesson. Marriage equality remains the law of the land in Iowa and judges will continue to do their jobs."

One Iowa writes:

Here at One Iowa, we are also celebrating a victory by Senator Mike Gronstal in Council Bluffs who has put his career on the line in defense of marriage for all loving and committed couples and has led Iowa in the right direction. With his reelection, voters sent a clear message that Iowans stood up for Senator Gronstal because he stood up for Iowa families. We look forward to working with Senator Gronstal and the pro-equality majority in the upcoming legislative session on the issues that matter most to Iowa families.
Justice Wiggins withstood the attacks by anti-equality forces in this state and was retained by the voters of Iowa. With the retention of Justice Wiggins, we sent a strong message to Mr. Vander Plaats and his friends at the National Organization for Marriage: Iowans are proud of our state that values equal protection and all families.

Watch Vander Plaats react to the Wiggins retention, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Competing Bus Tours Vilify, Defend Iowa Supreme Court Justice

WigginsbusIowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins was the center of attention today as two competing bus tours kicked off to attack and defend the Iowa Supreme Court Justice whose career is on the line this November.

On one side there stood the likes of failed presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum, perennial gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats and others who are trying to oust Wiggins for participating in a unanimous 2009 decision allowing marriage equality in the Hawkeye State. Three other justices were voted out in 2010.

"Justice Wiggins used the Constitution and twisted it to undermine the other thing that our founders understood to be necessary – virtue," said Santorum, according to the Des Moines Register.

He also told his bus' crowd that Wiggins and his peers' unanimous vote amounted to "tyranny of the oligarchy, the tyranny of people who believe they should determine what’s best for us.”

On the other side, driving their own bus directly in the wake of Santorum et al's campaign, there stood Democrats and other allies who are fighting to keep Wiggins on the bench. But their campaign is more about keeping politics out of the judicial branch than a debate about morals, as the right would have it.

"We don’t want to return to the days where politics have been injected into our system, and remove the fair and impartial courts that we have, [that are] well-respected throughout this country," said Des Moines-based attorney Guy Cook.

Both sides of this divide will be touring all week and hits a total of 17 cities, so watch out Iowa!

At Family Leadership Summit, Iowan Conservatives Vow To Defeat Judge Wiggins


Yesterday, nearly 1,000 of Iowa's religious conservatives gathered in Grace Point Church, in Waukee, for the Family Leadership Summit. They did not seek to eliminate child hunger or illiteracy or poverty in Iowa, or to ensure that Iowa's children receive their vaccinations. They instead listened to addresses from Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Rep. Steve King, and others, and plotted the defeat of Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, who's up for a retention vote this year. Judge Wiggins is one of the seven Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled against the Iowa Defense of Marriage Act in 2009.

The campaign to unseat Judge Wiggins was announced by failed gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. From the AP:

“When you raise your hand and you swear an oath to the constitution and then you go outside of the constitution, outside of your separation of powers to legislate from the bench . . . we the people must hold a person like that in check,” said Vander Plaats, chairman of [the anti-Wiggins campaign,] Iowans for Freedom.

Earlier this month, Andy reported that the state GOP is gunning for Judge Wiggins, too.

Three of the justices who threw out the Iowa Defense of Marriage Act have come up for retention vote since the ruling. All three have been ousted.

Bob Vander Plaats Joins Right's Flailing Starbucks Protest: VIDEO



Social conservatives are keeping up oppositional pressure on Starbucks over the company's support for gay marriage and equality in general.

Though the coffee giant has basically shrugged at the protest, Iowan anti-gay activist Bob Vander Plaats, a three-time failed gubernatorial candidate who wields mind-boggling power as head of the Family Leader, yesterday released a new video explaining to his followers that he's given up on Starbucks because the company "turned their back on God's design for the family," and he's urging others to, as well.

As we know, of course, this protest has had no impact on Starbucks: the company's stock has only risen since the protest began.

Watch Vander Plaats' desperate plea, AFTER THE JUMP.

Update: Joe.My.God points out that this video is an updated version of a previous Vander Plaats video, one in which he erroneously claimed Starbucks believes "God's design of marriage is bad for America."

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