Des Moines, Iowa — Lawmakers in Iowa are threatening to pull funding to a state community college after they became aware that the educational institution was using taxpayer money to send students to a homosexual event that they believe perverts the Bible.
“We cannot in good conscience vote to give taxpayer dollars to people or groups who pervert the Bible, teach our youth to engage in dangerous behavior, and target [pro-family or Christian] individuals … for hatred and bullying,” reads a statement released by a joint coalition of 16 lawmakers this week.
The document was signed by Senators David Johnson, Mark Segebart, Mark Chelgren, Dennis Guth, Bill Anderson, Kent Sorenson and Rick Bertrand; and Representatives Dwayne Alons, Greg Heartsill, Dean Fisher, Robert Bacon, Tom Shaw, Jason Schultz, Larry Sheets, Ralph Watts and Sandy Salmon.
Des Moines Area Community College is sending approximately 50 students to the “Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth” next week. Some of the seminar titles at the homosexual-based conference include “Is the Bible an Excuse for Hate?” “Can Love Between Two People Ever Be an Abomination?” and “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Right Wing?” Other workshops teach youth how to “fight back against [the] propaganda” of those who oppose homosexual behavior.
While the event is said to serve as an anti-bullying effort, some students at the college believe that it rather serves to bully Christians.
“It’s outrageous,” Jake Dagel, chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, told reporter Todd Starnes. “My school has decided to use the money that I funded them to go out and fund an event that’s bullying people with my beliefs.”
Chuck Hurley of the local pro-family organization The Family Leader likewise noted that although the event outline states that the seminars presented will teach attendees how to “fight back against propaganda,” the event uses “evil propaganda” tactics itself.
“Stop twisting the Bible and stop using our tax dollars to do it,” he declared.
Hurley has called upon Governor Terry Branstad to ask that the word “governor” be removed from the conference title, as the event was initiated by then Governor Tom Vilsak, who supported homosexual relationships. It remains to be seen as to how Branstad will respond.
However, the 16 legislators who signed the statement opposing the event are threatening to vote against funding the school until it stops using taxpayer money to send students to the conference.
College president Rob Denson told reporters that he will not budge.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “We want to make this conference available to a certain number of our students that might not otherwise be able to go. … As a community college, we have many students who represent many of the different categories and we are supportive of all of them.”
Denson stated that he doubts that the event is demeaning to Christians or the Bible.
“[The conference] promotes diversity and opposes bullying or any behavior toward diverse populations that is unfair, inappropriate or illegal,” he said.
But lawmakers don’t agree.
“This is not a proper use of taxpayer funds,” said Senator Dennis Guth.
Guth and others advise that their statement serves as a pact to block funding to the college until it stops promoting activities that pervert the word of God.