Those in attendance were dissatisfied with not only the usage of taxpayer funds for a conference that includes topics and workshops demeaning to the Christian faith, conservative personalities or contain objectionable material. Many of the speakers exhorted Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to disallow the use of his title for the conference as well.
The specific workshops mentioned that are listed and described on the conference website are:
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Right Wing?
Matt Sinovic, Executive Director, Progress Iowa
Learn messages and methods to fight back against propaganda from the extreme right wing, from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to Bob Vander Plaats and Jan Mickelson. Discover resources to get the most up-to-date information available and work toward a more progressive Iowa.
For the Bible Tells Me So
Can the love between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate? Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families—including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson—we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity, and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity. Participants will watch the full documentary and following discuss their viewpoint, emotions, and other thoughts.
Exploring the Intersections Between Bisexual and Transgender Identities and Organizing
Bisexual Organizing Project
This workshop will invite participants to actively engage with the edges of intersections between transgender and bisexual identities and organizing. The presenters will offer some working definitions of the terminology used but this is not a 101 workshop and participants are expected to have some knowledge/experience of transgender and bisexual identities and communities. The objective of this workshop is to offer a safe place in which to address the topics described earlier and to create an opportunity to build our capacity for more inclusive transgender and bisexual communities.
Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) was targeted due to their diversity commission sponsorship of the conference using taxpayer and tuition money. Fifteen legislators signed a statement threatening to halt DMACC’s funding if they will not revoke their sponsorship of the conference which is deemed to be about the advancement of the LGBT lifestyle, not protecting kids.
The statement reads:
Based on our desire and commitment to be faithful stewards of our tax dollars, we cannot in good conscience vote to give taxpayer dollars to people or to groups who pervert the Bible, teach our youth to engage in dangerous behavior, and target individuals like Jan Mickelson for hatred and bullying.
We have proof that the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Diversity Commission is using tuition and taxpayer monies to sponsor the Governor’s LGBTQ Youth Conference, as a result of information obtained by the DMACC Young Americans for Freedom chapter, through a Freedom of information Act (FOIA) request.
Therefore, we Representatives of the people of Iowa, will vote against appropriations for DMACC unless they withhold taxpayers’ dollars from the Governor’s LGBTQ Youth Conference.
The legislators who signed: State Senators David Johnson, Dennis Guth, Mark Segebart, Mark Chelgren, Bill Anderson, Kent Sorenson and Rick Bertrand, as well as, State Representatives Dwayne Alons, Tom Shaw, Larry Sheets, Greg Heartsill, Jason Schultz, Dean Fisher, Sandy Salmon, Rob Bacon and Ralph Watts.
You can watch the video from the press conference below:
Part I included speakers: Chuck Hurley from The FAMiLY Leader, Pastor Matt Floyd of Calvary Bible Church in Osceola, Pastor Kerry Jech of New Hope Christian Church in Marshalltown and Pastor Brad Cranston of Heritage Baptist Church in Burlington.
Part 2 includes remarks from Tamara Scott of Concerned Women of America, Jake Dagel of the DMACC chapter of Young Americans for Freedom and State Senator Dennis Guth.