The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) group, Young Americans for Freedom, held a press conference today to discuss how the DMACC Diversity Commission is abusing tuition and taxpayer funds with their co-sponsorship of the 8th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth.

The conference to be held on April 3rd has two workshops brought into question.  The first is titled, “For the Bible Tells Me So.”  The conference website describes the workshop:

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.

The second workshop mentioned is called “Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Right Wing?” this workshop to be lead by Matt Sinovic the Executive Director of Progress Iowa is also described on the website:

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.

“We are not out to attack the LGBT movement or the fact that the conference is being held,” said Jake Dagel, President of the DMACC Young Americans for Freedom Chapter, “instead we are attacking the fact that fees have been allocated to support a conference with workshops that bully individuals as a result of their Christian and conservative beliefs.”

Dagel said that an email was sent out to the entire DMACC student body offering a free ticket for the conference to any student that wanted one.  “On March 22nd, the DMACC Young Americans for Freedom received the results of the FOIA and found that the DMACC Diversity Commission is funded by the DMACC general fund that is funded 63% by student tuition money along with tax payer money. The FOIA also showed a sponsorship of the conference on behalf of DMACC at $1,000 making DMACC the only school in the state of Iowa to sponsor the conference.”

Dagel said his group is calling for DMACC to revoke its sponsorship of the conference.

“Let us be clear, any conference or event that attacks individuals for their beliefs is not diversity. We, the DMACC Young Americans for Freedom also do not hate homosexuals and believe that the LGBT movement has every right to host this conference due to their first amendment rights,” Dagel said.  “However, as long as the conference hosts workshops that attack individuals we will demand that DMACC revoke its sponsorship of tuition and tax payer money from this conference.”

The DMACC Young Americans for Freedom called on the community to contact the chair of the DMACC Diversity Commission, Marlana Schnell, by calling her office at 515-697-7736 or e-mailing her at [email protected] and demand the funds be cut and the sponsorship revoked.

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