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News LGBTQ+ Thursday, Dec 10 2015

Cruz's Anti-LGBT Policies Win Him Latest Iowa Endorsement

Dec 10, 2015

The man who helped propel Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee to victory in Iowa in 2012 and 2008, respectively, has made his choice for 2016: Ted Cruz.

Today, Bob Vander Plaats endorsed the Texas senator, officially giving Cruz his extreme social conservative stamp of approval. Vander Plaats is the president of The Family Leader, a extreme right-wing organization that required candidates in 2012 to sign a “marriage vow” that insinuated African American families were better off during slavery. Vander Plaats has also been a vocal opponent of gay marriage and other LGBT protections, calling same sex marriage “a grave threat to liberty and a Satanic plot.” The TFL president even went as far as praising Russia President Vladimir Putin for his ban on “homosexual propaganda.”

Last month, Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum all took turns attempting to woo the prominent Iowan with their extreme anti-LGBT rhetoric. Cruz’s brand has officially won out despite the rest of the field’s similar stances.

This is the latest coveted Iowa endorsement Cruz has won — Congressman Steve King also endorsed him for his extreme anti-immigration policies. Whether this will help Cruz triumph over Donald Trump in the Hawkeye State remains to be seen. In the meantime, Vander Plaats’ endorsement confirms Cruz’s antiquated and bigotted positions on social issues like gay marriage and LGBT rights.

Vander Plaats Just Endorsed Ted Cruz


Bob Vander Plaats

Bob Vander Plaats Was The Head Of The Family Leader, A Social Conservative Group, And Had Supported Mike Huckabee And Rick Santorum In 2008 And 2012. According to Right Wing Watch, “Seven Republican presidential candidates will be travelling to Iowa today to take part in a “presidential family forum” hosted by The Family Leader, a social conservative group led by activist Bob Vander Plaats, who is seen as a kingmaker in the Iowa caucus. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum will all be speaking at the forum, at which the candidates are arranged family-style around a Thanksgiving table. (At the 2011 forum, Michele Bachmann memorably took it upon herself to serve water to all of the male candidates.) The endorsement of Vander Plaats, whose backing helped catapult Huckabee and Santorum to Iowa caucus victories in 2008 and 2012, is one of the most coveted in the state.” [Right Wing Watch, 11/20/15]

Vander Plaats Questioned Whether Lindsey Graham Could Fight ISIS If He Couldn’t Speak Out Against Caitlyn Jenner’s Transition. According to Right Wing Watch, “Last week, after Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself on the cover of Vanity Fair, prominent Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace told Republican candidates that if they wouldn’t speak out against Jenner’s transition, ‘you might as well just forfeit the 2016 election now.’ […]Vander Plaats, an influential force in Iowa Republican politics, agreed, saying that if Graham wouldn’t speak out against people like Caitlyn Jenner, he could never fight radical Islam. ‘The thing of it is, you can go out and you can have empathy and compassion for Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner,’ he said. ‘However, you have to be able to stand up and say, but God still created us male and female. That’s the basic point here.’ ‘That’s our issue with Lindsey Graham,’ he added, ‘is that you can say you’re pro-life, you can say you’re for God’s design for the family in marriage, you can say that he created them male and female, but when you never take a stand on those issues, it’s awfully hard for us to trust, then, that you’re going to take a stand against radical Islam or any other domestic matter or foreign matter that may come up during a presidency.’” [Right Wing Watch, 6/9/15]

Vander Plaats Compared Republicans Fighting Against LGBT Rights To Republicans Fighting Against Slavery. According to Right Wing Watch, “Warning Republicans not to ‘abandon their base’ by softening their opposition to gay rights, Vander Plaats insists that fighting same-sex marriage is not a losing issue for the GOP. He believes that Republicans should stand up and be proud of their refusal to support marriage equality, just as the party fought to curb slavery during its founding era. ‘We actually stand for what God has designed because, just like with slavery, the truth is on our side,’ Vander Plaats said last year in an interview with right-wing talk show host Steve Deace.” [Right Wing Watch, 4/9/15]

Right Wing Watch: “Vander Plaats Tried To Get Republican Candidates To Sign A Pledge That… Suggested That African-American Families Were More Stable Under Slavery Than They Are Today.” According to Right Wing Watch, “During the last presidential primary season, Vander Plaats tried to get Republican candidates to sign a pledge that, among other questionable provisions, suggested that African-American families were more stable under slavery than they are today.” [Right Wing Watch, 4/9/15]

Vander Plaats Praised Donald Trumps’ Birtherism. According to Right Wing Watch, “In Vander Plaats’ world, the right to speak freely about ‘faithful heterosexual monogamy’ is under attack, ‘Sharia Islam’ is a menace in American politics and President Obama’s birth certificate is missing. (Vander Plaats has praised Donald Trump’s quixotic birther crusade as ‘bold.’)” [Right Wing Watch, 4/9/15]

Vander Plaats Has Called Same-Sex Marriage “A Grave Threat To Liberty And A Satanic Plot” And Compared It To Terrorist Attacks. According to Right Wing Watch, “Perhaps no issue has Vander Plaats more concerned than gay marriage, which he has called a grave threat to liberty and a Satanic plot. One video his group produced showed images of terrorist attacks and shootings alongside stories about same-sex couples’ weddings and gay members of the Boy Scouts to make a point about the “darkness” sweeping America.” [Right Wing Watch, 4/9/15]

Vander Plaats Praised Vladimir Putin For Upholding Traditional American Values And Banning Pro-Gay Rights Speech. According to Right Wing Watch, “Vander Plaats may still be weighing which Republican candidate to endorse this year, but he has already thrown his support behind one foreign leader: Russian President Vladimir Putin. When Putin signed a law that effectively bans speech in support of gay rights, Vander Plaats praised the Russian president for saying ‘you know what, don’t bring this homosexual propaganda into my country.’ He said that Putin now encapsulates the traditionally American values of ‘military might, decisive action, core values, morality, beliefs.’” [Right Wing Watch, 4/9/15]

Vander Plaats Said That His Warnings About The Consequences Of Marriage Equality – Including Parent-Child Marriage And Self-Marriage – Were Starting To Come True. According to Right Wing Watch, “Bob Vander Plaats Says His Warnings Of Parent-Child Marriage, Self-Marriage Are ‘Starting To Come True’ […] In an interview with the Iowa Republican yesterday, Bob Vander Plaats of the Religious Right group The Family Leader said that all of his dire warnings about the consequences of marriage equality are ‘starting to come true.’” [Right Wing Watch, 2/4/15]

Published: Dec 10, 2015

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