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Iowa Conservative Bob Vander Plaats Abandons Anti-Gay 'Marriage Vow' for 2016 GOP Presidential Race

Vander plaatsYou may recall Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader as the Iowa conservative behind the campaign to oust pro-equality state Supreme Court justices back in 2010, or the guy behind a failed boycott of Starbucks over its pro-LGBT policies a few years back, or perhaps the activist charged with selling his 2012 presidential endorsement (which eventually went to Rick Santorum). 

But Vander Plaats is arguably best known for his group's anti-gay, vaguely pro-slavery "marriage pledge" that was used in a (failed) attempt to get the most extreme social conservative elected as the party's nominee in the 2012 election. 

"The Marriage Vow -- A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family", requires opposition to Sharia law, pornography, infidelity, and same-sex marriage, among other things.

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

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.

Vander Plaats now tells The Des Moines Register he has no plans to ask candidates to sign the pledge this election. 

"One of the reasons why we are not doing it this time is that we saw it as more of a distraction" than as a benefit, Vander Plaats said. "We thought that there were other ways to do this. You know, our opponents want to pick apart things that we do. We want to make sure that the candidates are full-spectrum, pro-family conservatives."

He added that as an alternative, The Family Leader is sponsoring a series of leadership forums for presidential candidates to presumably tout their anti-LGBT positions. 

Said Donna Red Wing, executive director of the LGBT group One Iowa:

"I think the world is changing, and I think folks like Bob Vander Plaats and The Family Leader, while they are not abandoning their very deep convictions around family and marriage, they have made a decision not to make it a litmus test for candidates they support. ... I don't say this very often, but I have to applaud Bob Vander Plaats and The Family Leader for this small, but significant step,"

Watch Whoopi Goldberg whoop Michele Bachmann's ass for signing The Marriage Vow back in 2011, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Iowa Conservative Bob Vander Plaats Abandons Anti-Gay 'Marriage Vow' for 2016 GOP Presidential Race" »


Ted Cruz: We Must 'Fall to Our Knees in Prayer' That SCOTUS Does Not Rule for Marriage Equality - VIDEO

Cruz

At Iowa's Faith & Freedom Summit on Saturday, Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz attacked "liberal fascists" in the "radicalized" Democratic party for persecuting Christians, attacking "religious liberty", and seeking to destroy "traditional" marriage.

Watch Cruz's remarks, if you can stomach them, AFTER THE JUMP...

Cruz called on Republicans to get down on their knees and pray that the Supreme Court does not rule in favor of equality:

"What a sad statement that today's modern Democratic party has become so radicalized in their devotion to mandatory gay marriage in all 50 states that there is no longer any room for religious liberty...How radicalized has the modern Democratic party got? And we see this especially in the marriage debate. On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that threatens the Court may well attempt to strike down marriage laws in all 50 states. I have to tell you one thing that I think all of us are called to do between now and then and especially on Tuesday - is fall to our knees in prayer."

Cruz clucked about the recent anti-gay legislation he introduced in the Senate:

"This week I introduced in the U.S. Senate a constitutional amendment to preserve the authority of the states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. I also introduced legislation in the United States Senate (identical to that of Rep. Steve King's) to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over any litigation seeking to tear down traditional marriage laws in the United States. We need leaders who will stand unapologetic in defense of the Judeo-Christian values America was built on. We need leaders who will stand unapologetically in defense of marriage and life."

Cruz accused the Democratic party of rejecting Christians and warned of the "liberal fascism" at large:

"Today's Democratic party has decided there is no room for Christians in the Democratic party....The modern Democratic party has gotten so extreme, so intolerant there is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after and targeting believing Christians who follow the Biblical teachings on marriage."

Watch Cruz's remarks, if you can stomach them, AFTER THE JUMP...

WeiderpassCruz, of course, recently found himself in front of a much different audience — a pair of gay hoteliers who are now facing backlash  (and a planned protest this evening) for hosting an intimate reception at their apartment.

In a statement following the reception, Cruz issued a statement apparently meant to appease conservatives which said, "The purpose of the meeting and the primary topics of conversation were national security, foreign policy, and America's commitment to standing with Israel. On the subject of marriage, when asked, I stated directly and unambiguously what everyone in the room already knew, that I oppose gay marriage and I support traditional marriage."

The statement contradicted a report from the NYT which said that he "did not mention his opposition to same-sex marriage, saying only that marriage is an issue that should be left to the states."

Continue reading "Ted Cruz: We Must 'Fall to Our Knees in Prayer' That SCOTUS Does Not Rule for Marriage Equality - VIDEO" »


Gay Iowan Praises Hillary Clinton's Support for a Pro-Equality SCOTUS Ruling in New Campaign Ad: VIDEO

Clinton

Hillary Clinton's third campaign ad is all about her recent declaration in support of a pro-equality marriage ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court this year.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Oral arguments in the gay marriage cases begin April 28

Continue reading "Gay Iowan Praises Hillary Clinton's Support for a Pro-Equality SCOTUS Ruling in New Campaign Ad: VIDEO" »


Media Stampedes Toward Hillary Clinton's 'Scooby' Van in Iowa: VIDEO

Stampede

Hillary Clinton's campaign van (aka the 'Scooby' van) in which she has been traveling covertly across country arrived in Iowa this afternoon for a roundtable campaign event, and needless to say, reporters were eager to catch a glimpse of the candidate.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ted Cruz Warns Of Gay-Rights 'Jihad,' Continues Holy War Against Same-Sex Marriage

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U.S. Senator and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz claims gay-rights advocates are waging a "jihad" against religious freedom, but it's Cruz who may be on a political suicide mission against same-sex marriage. 

Right Wing Watch reports on Cruz's latest remarks in Iowa on Thursday: 

Cruz, speaking at a panel moderated by conservative talk show host Steve Deace, who regularly castigates the “Rainbow Jihad,” told the crowd of homeschooling activists that they should fear “the jihad that is being waged right now in Indiana and Arkansas, going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

By condemning this gay “jihad,” Cruz said, he could “bring people together” to defend religious freedom.

Before he opens his mouth again, Cruz may want to look up the origin of the Arabic word "jihad" — which actually referred to an effort to practice religion in the face of oppression and persecution. 

Nowadays, of course, "jihad" has become synonymous with "holy war." But if there's anyone waging a holy war, it's Cruz himself. 

Since announcing his candidacy last month at Liberty University, Cruz has embarked on an anti-gay rampage as he attempts to nail down evangelical Christian support in early voting states like Iowa and South Carolina. 

Last week in Iowa, Cruz said a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality would be "fundamentally illegitimate," and vowed to respond by trying to strip justices of their jurisdiction over the issue. From The Dallas Morning News:  

“Every one of us is concerned about the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision likely coming in June,” he said. “The first thing and I think the most important thing every one of us can do, is pray. Lift up in prayer. ... 

“If the court tries to do this it will be rampant judicial activism. It will be lawlessness, it will be fundamentally illegitimate,” he said.

Earlier this week, Cruz joined five other Republican senators and 53 GOP representatives in filing a brief against same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court. But as The Houston Chronicle reports, while Cruz's strategy may play well in states like Iowa and South Carolina, it could ultimately doom his campaign: 

Cruz has aimed squarely at religious conservatives in his quest to be president, but a raft of polls suggests that he and other evangelical candidates could be mining a shrinking older demographic that remains morally opposed to gay marriage. ... 

Although the Cruz strategy could pay dividends in Iowa, some say the Hawkeye State has a poor record of boosting eventual GOP nominees.

"Do you see a President Pat Buchanan?" said former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, an adviser to GOP hopeful Jeb Bush. "Do you see a President Rick Santorum? Do you see a President Pat Robertson?"

Watch video of Cruz's remarks about the gay "jihad" and the Supreme Court's marriage ruling, AFTER THE JUMP ...  

Continue reading "Ted Cruz Warns Of Gay-Rights 'Jihad,' Continues Holy War Against Same-Sex Marriage" »


Man Charged for Sending 'Anthrax' to Iowa Gay Bar: 'This is Your Punishment for Sinning' - VIDEO

Letter

Eric Reece Wiethorn (right), a 49-year-old man from Ames, Iowa was arrested for first-degree harassment for a letter he sent to Blazing Saddle, a gay bar in Des Moines, Iowa containing a death threat and a white powder that Wiethorn had said was the deadly poison "anthrax" but turned out to be Gold Bond Medicated Powder.

WiethornWiethorn's letter said: “This is your punishment for sinning against God, and hopefully you’ll die from the anthrax on this letter.”

Fire, police, and hazmat crews were called to the scene.

Wiethorn, who was arrested on an anonymous tip and admitted to the crime, is being held at the Polk County Jail on $2,000 bond.

Watch a report on the incident, AFTER THE JUMP...

Pullen

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