Governor Branstad is disputing a conservative group’s assertion that Branstad wants to end governor’s office involvement in an anti-bullying conference. The Family Leader’s legislative report indicated Branstad no longer wanted there to be an “Iowa Governor’s Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth.”

Branstad says that’s not the case. “My schedule is such that I’m not able to attend,” Branstad says. “But I believe treating everybody with respect and dignity and we want to make sure that nobody is bullied.”

The annual event, put on by the “Iowa Safe Schools” group, was started during former Governor Tom Vilsack’s tenure and continued during Governor Chet Culver’s term in office. Both men are Democrats. Branstad is a Republican.

 Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Sue Dvorsky issued a statement today praising Branstad for doing “the right thing” and “reaffirming” his support of the “bipartisan” conference.

The Democratic chairwoman also blasted The Family Leader for trying to “discount the event” and “politicize” the effort to stop bullies from picking on homosexual students.