Faith-based Federal money funded Iowa anti-gay group

Via the ever vigilant Jeremy Hooper, we learn, in a post titled, Federal marriage endowment: Uncle Sam reportedly helped Iowans take away your rights, that the viciously homophobic Iowa Family Policy Center is, in part, federally funded:

The Iowa Family Policy Center (which is umbrellaed with The Family Leader, LUV Iowa, and other groups) is one of the most “egads!”-inducing of all the state groups, having run those frightening programs that directly compare gays to secondhand smoking, waged a campaign to remove judges simply because of personal biases, and contributed so much hostile noise (“pray throughout the day for the salvation and healing of openly gay students“) to the rhetoric. Also because unlike some other groups, IFPC and friends actually rub shoulders with very prominent people, including the entire GOP slate of presidential candidates.

Jeremy points to this AP article, which provides more details:

The $2.2 million received by the Iowa Family Policy Center between 2006 and 2010 helped hundreds of Iowans receive education and counseling, according to the documents. But it also paid for part of the salaries of five employees, rent, telephone, Internet and other expenses while the group was fighting legalized gay marriage in Iowa.

A University of Iowa researcher who was a consultant on the grant also told AP the group declined to provide same-sex couples education and counseling with the money.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials approved the grant budget, and there’s no indication the costs run afoul of federal guidelines. Still, critics said the grant was potentially troubling because it was involved in a high-profile effort to respond to the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2009 ruling legalizing gay marriage at the time, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is investigating. A public backlash led Iowa voters to oust three justices last year.

Your tax dollars at work. So, how did this happen? It’s apparently faith-based money:

Randall Wilson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, said it’s important to analyze how the money was used since it is an example of former President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative, which helped religious groups receive government funding. His group has requested additional documents about the grant hoping to learn whether the money was used appropriately.

This is an ongoing problem. Last month, Kerry Eleveld wrote an in-depth article about the faith-based policies of the Obama administration. We’re seeing a continuation of Bush’s policy under Obama’s Faith Based office, which is led by Joshua DuBois. Last month, DuBois famously said, “If your focus is first and foremost serving people in need, then there’s not a tremendous amount of time left to debate the finer points of the church- state relationship.” Yeah, those pesky finer points of the constitution can be so annoying. Dubois tried to clean up with a blog post, but, clearly this is an on-going problem.

Perhaps, Mr. DuBois can do another blog post explaining whether our tax dollars are still being used to finance homophobia. We’d like to know.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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