The gay man Governor Vilsack wanted to sit on the State Board of Education will not serve. Twenty-two Senators voted “yes” on Wilson’s nomination, but he cannot serve on the board because he needed the support of at least 34 senators. Senator Nancy Boettger, a republican from Harlan, voted against Wilson.Boettger says she’s heard from a lot of Iowans who do not want “any hint of pushing the gay lifestyle through our school system.” Boettger says many Iowans believe Wilson “is an activist pushing the gay agenda.” Senator Ken Veenstra, a republican from Orange City, says the “God-fearing people” he represents wanted him to vote “no.” Veenstra says Wilson has made it clear he wants to promote a “minority agenda” and Veenstra says Wilson’s “openness” in pushing that agenda locally and nationally disqualifies him for the job, in Veenstra’s opinion. Senator Neil Schuerer, a republican from Amana, says Wilson failed to disclose he raises money for a gay and lesbian political action committee. Schuerer says Wilson has said he knows very personally what it’s like to be targeted by the religious right and Wilson has promised to shoot back. Schuerer says Wilson has vowed to help “legions of lesbian and gay candidates” get elected and appointed to government positions. Schuerer says the gay activists seek “not to be limited by traditional behaviors and limits” and a wish “to remove all boundaries and barriers in human activity and encounters.” Senator Matt McCoy, a democrat from Des Moines who’s gay, says republicans were acting like a lynch-mob. McCoy says those who voted against Wilson are “motivated by bigotry.” McCoy says “we need to celebrate our differences and if we can’t celebrate our differences we need to tolerate our differences.” Senator Jack Hatch, a democrat from Des Moines, says it’s time for Wilson’s critics to “shed their fears.” Hatch says “voting against a qualified man because he’s gay is no different than casting a vote against a black man because of his race.” Senator Dick Dearden, a democrat from Des Moines, says he supports the so-called “gay agenda.”Dearden says it’s time everybody embraced the “gay agenda” of equality and quit listening to the “right wing fanatics.” Governor Vilsack has accused those who opposed Wilson of being bigots. Vilsack says Wilson’s qualified to sit on the State Board of Education as he’s “very articulate and very passionate” about education.
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