HRC Blog

GOP Candidates Participate in Anti-Gay “Thanksgiving Family Forum”

How are Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul spending this weekend before Thanksgiving? They’re helping the Family Leader – an anti-gay group headed by Bob Vander Plaats – raise money by participating in the group’s “Thanksgiving Family Forum,” an event billed as “a family discussion.”

NOM and an affiliate of Focus on the Family also are sponsoring the event, taking place tomorrow in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ticket packages for the event go as high as $1,500, with individual tickets for sale for $40. The money goes to the Family Leader, whose “Marriage Vow,” which Bachmann and Santorum signed earlier this year, calls homosexuality both a choice and a threat to public health.

The Family Leader is led by Bob Vander Plaats. He has previously called being gay a public health risk akin to secondhand smoking, saying: “If we’re teaching the kids, “don’t smoke, because that’s a risky health style,” the same can be true of the homosexual lifestyle. That’s why I think we need to speak the truth once in awhile.” Vander Plaats also has said that allowing loving, committed same-sex couples to marry would lead to the end of private property and incest.

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