A Young Americans for Freedom chapter is demanding its school to pull funding from an upcoming LGBT conference, claiming a bias against conservatives and Christians.
Des Moines Community College student Jake Dagel, who chairs the school's Young Americans for Freedom chapter, is opposing the 8th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) Youth and is calling for the school to pull its $1,000 sponsorship during a press conference announcing his chapter's position. Dagel claims that conservatives and Christians will be bullied at the event.
“Any conference or event that attacks individuals for their beliefs is not diversity,” Dagel told the Iowa Republican. “We, the DMACC Young Americans for Freedom...believe that he LGBT community has every right to host this conference due to their First Amendment rights. However, as long as the conference hosts workshops that attack individuals, we will demand that DMACC revoke its sponsorship of tuition and taxpayer money from this conference.”
Dagel's concern stems from two different workshops during the conference. One entitled, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Right Wing," which according to the Iowa Safe Schools website (which founded the conference) attendees will "Learn messages and methods to fight back against propaganda from
the extreme right wing, from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to Bob
Vander Plaats and Jan Mickelson. Discover resources to get the most
up-to-date information available and work toward a more progressive
Iowa." The other is a seminar that will have attendees watch the documentary "For the Bible Tells Me So," a documentary that shows how conservatives have "warped" their interpretation of the Bible to stigmatize homosexuals.
Dagel's YAF chapter has received support from the Iowa GOP and Dagel told Young America's Foundation that he hopes to receive support from state legislators.
DMACC Diversity Commission member Marlana Schnell attended the press conference and her discourse with Dagel was videotaped by the Iowa Republican:
In the video, Schnell is asked why the school is using taxpayer funds on a panel (at a conference that hopes to end anti-bullying of individuals, no less!) that will aim to "fight back against propaganda from the extreme right wing." Schnell didn't really have an answer and said that the school supports the entire event and referred Dagel to contact the event organizer.
Dagel told Young America's Foundation that if the school doesn't pull funding, he will host a Christian event and ask for similar sponsorship from the school and he has launched a Facebook page to support the defunding the April 3 event.