Globe Gazette: Conservative bus tour touts pro-life, traditional marriage

Jenifer Bowen with Iowa Right to Life speaks wednesday during the Values Voter Bus Tour during its stop at Central Park in Mason City. The bus tour is being held to promote pro-life leadership prior to Saturday’s GOP Straw Poll in Ames.

This article first appeared online at on August 10, 2011.

Conservative bus tour touts pro-life, traditional marriage

By MARY PIEPER, North Iowa Media Group

MASON CITY — Representatives from several national and state conservative organizations touring the state by bus stopped in Mason City on Wednesday to encourage voters to support GOP presidential candidates who are pro-life and support traditional marriage.

“The culture has been damaged beyond words” in recent years, said Connie Mackey of the Family Research Council, one of those on the Values Voter Bus Tour who spoke to a handful of people in Central Park.

Marilyn Musgrave, a project director for the Susan B. Anthony List and a former U.S. representative from Colorado, said the nation needs pro-life Supreme Court justices and Cabinet members.

Saturday’s GOP Straw Poll in Ames is important because “it sends a message to the nation,” she said.

Being pro-life “is not a liability,” she said, noting six GOP candidates have signed her organization’s pro-life leadership pledge.

They are Michele Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Thaddeus McCotter, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum.

Jenifer Bowen of Iowa Right to Life said Mason City has been selected as a site for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and telemedicine will be used to prescribe and dispense abortion-inducing pills.

With a pro-life president in the White House, “we can stop this,” she said.

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage called same-sex marriage “a radical social experiment that will have consequences.”  

He said President Obama has “abdicated his role” when it comes to defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

He praised Iowans for voting out the three state Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriage.

Dean Genth, president of the Iowa Coalition of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), was selected by the One Iowa to give a local response to the Values Voter Bus Tour. He said that “prying into people’s bedrooms” goes against the traditional Republican stance favoring smaller government.  

Genth, co-founder of the North Iowa chapter of PFLAG, said as a man in a single-sex marriage, “I hope that people can respect my marriage as much as I respect other people’s heterosexual marriages.”   

One Iowa is the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization.

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