As the first anniversary of the Iowa Supreme Court's April 3 unanimous decision legalizing gay marriage in the state nears, social conservatives are denouncing the celebration.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC), the state's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, said its 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.”

“Our God lives!” Chuck Hurley, president of the Christian-based group, said. “This weekend we will gather to worship a risen Savior. No matter how many un-Biblical, unconstitutional Supreme Court rulings you get, we will continue standing for righteousness in the public square, and reminding everyone there is a power over sin and death available to all through God's only Son, Jesus Christ.”

Earlier in the 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 a constitutional amendment banning the institution.

“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 smoking.”

“Homosexual activity is certainly more dangerous for the individuals who engage in it than is smoking,” he added.

Hurley said he based his conclusions on a report issued this week by the U.S. Center for Disease Control that found gay men have higher rates of HIV and syphilis. The agency's report, however, found that “factors such as homophobia and stigma” increase the likelihood that gay men won't seek prevention, testing and treatment services.

Social conservatives in Iowa have declared war on the state Supreme Court's 2009 unanimous ruling legalizing gay marriage and are fuming that Democrats have blocked passage of a resolution that would put the issue before voters. Opponents have vowed to make repeal of gay marriage in the state a pivotal issue in the upcoming gubernatorial race.

Gay activists, led by the state's largest gay advocate, One Iowa, are planning a number of events to celebrate the first anniversary, including an anniversary gala to be held on Saturday at the Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines.