The non-profit group leading the effort
to repeal gay marriage in Iowa received more than $3 million in
federal funds, the Iowa
The Christian-based Iowa Family Policy
Center (IFPC) received the money between 2004 and 2009 through two
subsidiaries of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The federal grants support the IFPC's
Marriage Matters program, a weekend retreat program for couples which
includes marriage and pre-marital mentoring.
The Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay
marriage on April 3, 2009. Since then, the IFPC and its political
action committee, the IFPC Action PAC, have led in the effort to undo
the ruling. Its Let
Us Vote (LUV) campaign focuses on pressuring state lawmakers to
send an amendment that would outlaw gay marriage to the ballot box.
They have also endorsed the
gubernatorial candidacy of Bob Vander Plaats, the most vociferous
opponent of gay marriage vying for the Republican nomination. Vander
Plaats has pledged, if elected, to halt gay weddings with an
executive order until the issue is decided by voters. Most analysts
have said such a move would not be legal.
On the first anniversary of the court's
ruling, the group's president, Chuck Hurley, denounced the
He said IFPC members would be
celebrating “the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who offers
eternal life” as the gay and lesbian community celebrates “personal
choices that lead to eternal death.”
Last month, Hurley created a stir when
he said the secondhand impact of gay marriage is more destructive
than smoking in urging lawmakers to take up the gay marriage measure.
“The Iowa Legislature outlawed
smoking in an effort to improve health and reduce the medical costs
that are often passed on to the state,” Hurley said in a statement.
“The secondhand impacts of certain homosexual acts are arguably
more destructive, and potentially more costly to society than
“Homosexual activity is certainly
more dangerous for the individuals who engage in it than is smoking,”
Democrats so far have blocked passage
of a resolution that would put the issue before voters.
Recipients of federal funds cannot
discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion or disability in
providing services, but discrimination based on sexual orientation is