Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats urged Gov. Terry Branstad to remove his title from the upcoming Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth in an open letter Tuesday, and invited Branstad to instead partner with his socially conservative group in hosting a more “comprehensive” anti-bullying conference.
Vander Plaats wrote in the letter that the Family Leader opposes the governor’s support of the conference, which includes passing out “safe sex kits” and allows transgender youth to use whichever restroom corresponds with their identified gender.
In exchange for Branstad’s removal of “Governor” from the title, Vander Plaats said the group would like to develop a different safe schools conference for all students.
“Instead of passing out ‘safe’ sex kits to students, the conference could provide abstinence-based education, emphasizing healthy behavior and the healthy aspects of preventing unwanted pregnancies, STD’s, depression, and other problems resulting from sexual activity outside of marriage,” Vander Plaats wrote.
The open letter comes after Branstad declared he would not remove his title from the conference and sent a letter Jan. 26 in support of the event to organizer Nate Monson, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools.
“I support the conference and its goal of eliminating bullying and making Iowa schools safe for all students,” Branstad wrote in the letter. “I do not object to you including the word ‘Governor’s’ in the conference title.”