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Iowa's Leading Anti-Gay Activist Bob Vander Plaats Forgives Thrice-Married Adulterer Newt Gingrich: VIDEO

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Bob Vander Plaats, head of Iowa anti-gay group The Family Leader, which was instrumental in the ousting of three judges who legalized marriage equality in the state and who has made candidates sign a "marriage vow", is willing to forgive thrice-married adulterer Newt Gingrich for his infidelities, Think Progress LGBT reports.

They add:

Last July, Iowa’s FAMiLY Leader unveiled “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMILY,” a 14 bullet pledge presidential candidates will have to sign to secure any “future endorsement” from the organization and its influential leader, Bob Vander Plaats. The document asked candidates to vow “personal fidelity to my spouse,” claimed that same-sex marriage undermines the family, and contained a bizarre reference to slavery.

Said Vander Plaats of Gingrich in an MSNBC appearance this morning: "...we also realize that the cornerstone at the hart of our faith is a thing called forgiveness. We all fall short, but we want to know, is he truly repentful, is he learned, is he ready to move on, is he more mature? And I believe he’s addressed this in a lot of situations and I think he will again on Saturday."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Iowa's Leading Anti-Gay Activist Says Romney 'Sucking Air' After 'Diss' of GOP Forum in Des Moines

Romney

Mitt Romney has "dissed" a Republican presidential forum in Des Moines this weekend organized by Iowa's leading anti-gay "pro-family" group The Family Leader, according to its president Bob Vander Plaats:

Vanderplaats"Mitt Romney has dissed this base in Iowa and this diss will not stay in Iowa," Bob Vander Plaats said in an interview with Fox News. "This has national tentacles. ... This might prove that he is not smart enough to be president, " Vander Plaats continued, clearly miffed. "I think what will happen is what happened in 2008. He's been in this position before. He's been on top of polls only to find his campaign tanking and sucking air."

In related news, Think Progress has been pointing out Romneys flip-flops on gay rights.

TP notes Romney's views on gays in 1994:

According to several articles in the Boston Globe in the mid ’90s, just before launching his senate run, Romney told an audience of Mormon Church members that homosexuality was “perverse” and “reprehensible.” From the Boston Globe, July 15, 1994:

“He said he was appalled at the incidence of homosexuals in the congregation,” said Rick Rawlins, a 32-year-old Mormon who had previously served as a counselor to the ward’s bishop. “He went on to say that he found homosexuality both perverse and reprehensible.”

And later, in 2002:

Eight years later, during his 2002 run for governor, Romney took a similarly progressive position when he proclaimed, “All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of sexual preference.”


Iowa Anti-Gay Conservative Leader Enjoys 'Fag' Joke: VIDEO

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Bob Vander Plaats, the President of The Family Leader, Iowa's leading anti-gay group and creator of the GOP 2012 presidential 'Marriage Vow', had a good laugh in March over a "fag" joke at one of its organization's events, Think Progress reports:

ATTENDEE: You know what my wife says? She says: Iowa, the state where you can’t smoke a fag, but you can marry one.

[Laughter]

VANDER PLAATS: Oh shoot, that’s pretty good, that’s pretty good. Oh shoot.

Watch (you may need to turn up your volume), AFTER THE JUMP...

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Mitt Romney Rejects Conservative Iowa Group's 'Marriage Vow', Calls It 'Undignified and Inappropriate'

Mitt Romney has said he won't sign a "marriage vow" pushed by social conservative Iowa group The Family Leader which asked candidates to put their signature on a pledge to oppose same-sex marriage, Sharia law, infidelity, and pornography.

Vanderplaats The document also contained a section which said that African-American families were better off during the time of slavery.

The section read:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.

That section was removed after public outrage, but not before Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum had both signed the pledge.

Romney is the first GOP candidate to reject signing the vow, the AP reports:

Andrea Saul told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Romney "strongly supports traditional marriage," but that the oath circulated last week by The Family Leader "contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign."

Romney is three points behind Bachmann in the latest GOP Iowa straw poll.

In a video posted today, Bob Vander Plaats (pictured), the head of The Family Leader and the leading anti-gay activist in Iowa, posted a video trying to explain what the "marriage vow" means and what he meant by the slavery reference.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Whoopi Goldberg Rips Michele Bachmann and the 'Marriage Vow': VIDEO

Whoopi

Whoopi Goldberg ripped Michele Bachmann this morning for signing "The Marriage Vow -- A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family", a requirement for earning the Iowa conservative group The Family Leader's endorsement. The pledge also requires opposition to Sharia law and banning pornography.

The document also contained this statement, which was removed over outrage:

"Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President."

Ranted Whoopi Goldberg on this morning's View: "Dammit, I am sick of this crap!"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch: Rick Santorum Defends Signing Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge

SantorumCNN

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum explained why he signed an Iowa conservative group's anti-gay "marriage pledge" on CNN's State of the Union this morning.

Though Santorum admits he was "taken aback" by some of the document's demands, particularly one requiring candidates themselves to pledge fidelity, the former Pennsylvania Senator also insists he had no qualms signing the controversial oath:

When I first read it I was taken aback, but I can't argue that I wasn't, but I understand why they are saying that. Because it does undermined peoples' respect for the institution, respect for the people governing this country. If you can't be faithful to the people that you are closest to, then how can we count on you to be faithful to those that you represent.

Watch Santorum and host Candy Crowley discuss his decision, AFTER THE JUMP...

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