Bob Vander Plaats is the main voice of the anti-equality movement in Iowa. He fights tirelessly to attack loving and committed gay and lesbian couples now that they can legally marry. Vander Plaats announced that he endorses Rick Santorum for President. One Iowa issued the following statement in response:
Today, Bob Vander Plaats and announced his endorsement of Republican candidate for President, Rick Santorum. After months of speculation and media attention, The Family Leader made the decision to 'remain neutral' while Vander Plaats individually endorsed Santorum without the support of the organization behind his pick.
One Iowa Executive Director Troy Price responds to the announcement:
Today's endorsement of Rick Santorum by Bob Vander Plaats comes as no surprise. Both Santorum and Vander Plaats have all built their careers attacking loving and committed gay and lesbian couples, and the fact is that Vander Plaats caved to the extreme social conservative agenda. With poll numbers lagging, it is clear Rick Santorum does not have a chance against President Obama in November, and Vander Plaats has endorsed a losing candidate.
Today's announcement proves what we have known all along: Bob Vander Plaats is out of touch with what voters want. What Iowans care about are jobs and the economy, and they deserve a candidate who does too.
As Dan Savage noted on Monday, something is happening here. Every anti-gay candidate in the race ends up sinking to the bottom of the heap. Now that Iowa and New Hampshire are both marriage equality states, candidates can no longer get away with openly hating gays and lesbians if they want to be successful. As we've seen time and time again during this campaign, they have to come face to face with gay and lesbian families, and their neighbors. Hate is ugly when it is up close and personal, and most Iowans are turned off by it regardless of their political party.
Perhaps this will be the last election where major Presidential candidates will use the LGBT community as their whipping post. It is a losing platform.