Bob Vander Plaats

President, The Family Leader

Insists the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling will lead to polygamy and pedophilia, and that transgender bathroom accommodations are “a trainwreck waiting to happen.”

—Received national and local condemnation over his “Marriage Vow” for 2012 presidential candidates, which included language suggesting that children were better off under slavery than they are today (later removed); likening being gay to polygamy, adultery, and polyandry; attacking gay people as a public health risk; saying being gay is a choice; and banning all pornography.

—Calls gay people a “public health risk“ akin to smoking. (0:20–1:17)

Says of marriage equality: “What we know is it goes against the law of nature, and the law of nature’s God, which means, again, it’s against the Constitution.”

—Praised Russian president Vladimir Putin for his country’s draconian ban on “homosexual propaganda”

—A vocal supporter of the “birther” fringe movement, which claims President Obama was born in Kenya. Praised Donald Trump for his “birther” investigation.

—Equated opinion that legalized marriage equality in Iowa to Dred Scott opinion that treated Blacks as property.

—Vander Plaats erupted into laughter at a derogatory anti-gay joke, saying “that’s pretty good.” (0:42)

Attempted to link being gay to the national debt: “When you start going away from core value issues, the ripple effect leads right to economic issues.”

Called on the governor of Iowa to not attend an anti-bullying conference: “Our goal at The FAMiLY LEADER is to speak the truth in love. Ironically, the upcoming 7th Annual Iowa Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth is exchanging truth for acceptance and tolerance of harmful behavior. As parents, we love our children so much that we do not accept or tolerate his/her desire to play dodge ball in a busy street. If we did, that tolerance could result in serious injury or worse. In like manner, this is how I view the conference.”

—Claims: “That lifestyle [homosexuality] is outside of God’s design for the family.” (0:23-0:28)

—Claims gay activists push back against him because of Satan: “The opposition is always going to throw stones, and that’s they’re [sic] way of discouraging.... I mean, Satan’s ways are not new under the sun, he wants to discourage, he wants to disappoint.”


The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.