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GOP Iowa Senator: ‘Absurd’ to claim homosexuality is a public health threat like second-hand smoke

MahurinPointing_Thumb1_661.jpg
MahurinPointing_Thumb1_661.jpg

Although U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is scheduled to make two appearances Monday on behalf of The Family Leader, one of her key supporters, Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson, says that claims made by one of the organization’s umbrella groups that homosexuality is a worse public health threat than second-hand smoke are “absurd.”

Sorenson, a local favorite with the tea party movement, has made clear that he’ll be supporting Bachmann if she decides to enter the 2012 presidential fray. An anonymous source has also told CNN that Sorenson would “likely be hired” as Bachmann’s state political director.

Speaking with ThinkProgress, Sorenson, an Indianola Republican who is not a stranger to controversial beliefs, stated flatly that arguments pairing the public health risks of homosexuality to second-hand smoking are “absurd.”

Watch the exchange:

While Sorenson was only expressing his personal views on the topic, and not acting as a spokesman for Bachmann, the exchange remains significant.

In February, Bob Vander Plaats — the man at the helm of The Family Leader — attempted to distance himself from an anti-gay seminar series hosted by the Iowa Family Policy Center, a socially conservative group that falls under the umbrella of The Family Leader. Links promoting the seminars, “The Second-Hand Effects of Same-Sex ‘Marriage’” were removed from The Family Leader website, and Vander Plaats publicly indicated such sessions were completed well before he was hired to lead the political action arm of the organizations.

Although Vander Plaats was adamant that he and The Family Leader organization had no role in the seminar series, which is still being advertised online, he never indicated during the previous exchange if he personally believed that homosexuality and same-sex marriage were as much of a public health threat as second-hand smoke. That changed late last week when ThinkProgress released a taped exchange with Vander Plaats where he appears to embrace the claims made on the “second-hand effects” site that homosexuality is a curable public health risk.

Monday, at stops in Pella and Iowa City, Bachmann will be appearing on behalf of The Family Leader as part of the organization’s “Presidential Lecture Series.”

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