Pawlenty to Meet with Anti-Gay Iowa Group

After telling the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer that he would work to reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as President, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will continue to court anti-gay leaders by meeting with Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats and his organization, The Family Leader. Vander Plaats told the Des Moines Register that his group will be “hosting Governor Pawlenty in Iowa” in early February to discuss “pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy.”

After losing the race for the Republican nomination for governor, Vander Plaats became a leader of Iowa’s Religious Right after he coordinated a successful campaign to block the retention of three Iowa Supreme Court justices who supported the Court’s unanimous ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. Vander Plaats, who a former aide said is “obsessed with the gay marriage issue,” has since called for the removal of the entire Supreme Court because of the Court’s decision in favor of marriage equality. The Family Leader is the parent organization of Marriage Matters, the Iowa Family PAC, and the Iowa Family Policy Center, an organization that attacks “the public health crisis of same-sex activity” and tells church groups that they can “protect your children” from “homosexual activists.”

Pawlenty, who is currently touring the country to promote his new book Courage to Stand, has been beefing up his credibility with the Religious Right, bragging to Bryan Fischer about his record of appointing far-right judges to Minnesota courts and calling for the reinstatement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: