Possible 2012 GOP presidential
candidates Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann and former
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty were stumped when asked if they agree
that being gay is as harmful to society as secondhand smoke.
Both Republicans have previously
appeared in Iowa at venues hosted by Bob Vander Plaats' socially
conservative The Family Leader.
At a February seminar featuring
Plaats distanced himself from claims made by the Iowa Family Policy
Center, a group that has been absorbed by The Family Leader.
At the seminar series The
Second-Hand Effects of Same-Sex Marriage, the Iowa Family Policy
Center argues that homosexuality is as dangerous to society as
“The Family Leader has not been a
part of that [seminar series],” Vander Plaats told a reporter in
But last week, Vander Plaats reversed
course, telling progressive website ThinkProgress.com that he
believes gay sex is “a public health risk.”
When asked by ThinkProgress.com if they
agreed with Vander Plaats' claim, Bachmann just answered, “I don't
have an answer,” while Pawlenty reiterated his opposition to gay
marriage, and added that unsafe sex has a negative impact on society.
(The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)