Des Moines Register

Anti-gay, Mormon-funded group spreading lies and fear in Iowa, group says

By Jason Clayworth • • August 24, 2009

One Iowa, the stateÂ’s largest civil rights organization for gays and lesbians, is speaking out about an out-of-state Mormon-funded group thatÂ’s spent at least $86,080 on a special House race to fight marriage equality for same-sex couples.

The National Organization for Marriage is a New Jersey-based group known for its multi-million investment to pass CaliforniaÂ’s Proposition 8.

The marriage organization last week filed an independent expenditure statement indicating it has spent $86,080 on radio and television ads that benefit Stephen Burgmeier, the Republican candidate for House District 90 in a Sept. 1 special election in southern Iowa.

Burgmeier is opposed to same sex marriage. His Democratic opponent, Curt Hanson, says he believes Iowans should be able to vote on a constitutional amendment to prohibit same sex marriages.

One Iowa executive director Carolyn Jenison issued a statement today noting the marriage organizationÂ’s efforts in Iowa.

“The Mormon Church and NOM have invested millions of dollars to spread lies and fear in California and now they have their sights set on rural Iowa,” Jenison said. “This raises the question: Has Burgmeier been bought and paid for by out of state religious extremists? If not, he should reject this divisive ad.”

She continued:

“NOM has a history of funneling money from the Mormon Church into anti-gay measures, while refusing to disclose the source of their funds. NOM should release the list of those contributing to the ads airing in Iowa.”

Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, was also quoted in One IowaÂ’s press release:
“This is about out-of-state extremists attempting to buy an Iowa election, plain and simple,” Jochum said.

One Iowa has countered the ads with its own. See it here.

Calls made Monday and Tuesday to NOM, including one to its executive director Brian Brown, were not immediately returned.