Iowa Repub uses Christian group’s allegations to start ‘witch hunt’ against LGBT youth event
Lawmakers in Iowa will investigate an annual event for LGBTQ youth after bizarre claims by the Republican chair of the state House Oversight Committee, KCCI-TV reported.
“Kids as young as 12 to 13 were encouraged to practice safe bondage,” state Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R) said. “They were told about apps that could help them locate the nearest orgy.”
Kaufmann said he received around two dozen complaints concerning “obscene material” presented at the Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, which hosted discussions this past April covering anti-bullying, sexual health, and suicide-prevention techniques, among other topics.
According to Slate, Kaufmann’s argument is based on a description of one session provided by Christian conservative group, the Family Leader. The group states on its website that it “champions the principle that God is the ultimate leader of the family.”
The Family Leader argued that a speaker at the event “told a rousing story of how he used social media to find friends and accidentally stumbled into an orgy.” The group also complained that speakers “repeatedly affirmed that it’s OK to be gay.”
The representative’s description of the conference has been called into question by not only members of Iowa Safe Schools, which organizes the event, but attendees as well.
Iowa Safe Schools executive director Nate Monson said Kaufmann’s investigation, which will include a Nov. 18 committee hearing, amounted to a “witch hunt” that the legislator has organized solely to shut the conference down.
“Frankly Representative Kaufmann is talking about an app that students can find orgies is ridiculous,” Monson told KCCI. “It is not something that happened at the conference.”
Monson said his group will announce the dates for the 2016 conference on the same day as the hearing.
Kaufmann’s probe is the latest conservative complaint against the conference. As Think Progress reported, his fellow GOP Rep. Greg Heartsill sent a letter to school superintendents around the state asking for information on whether their schools covered any costs associated with student, faculty or staff attending the conference, alleging that “students were subjected to sexually graphic and obscene presentations.” However, Hearstill also admitted on the House floor that he did not know what the acronym “LGBTQ” stands for.