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Faith & Freedom Coalition was founded by Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed. The organization was described as a “21st-century version of the Christian Coalition.”

One of the main issues the Faith & Freedom Coalition has stood up to is the LGBTQ agenda. But here in Iowa, the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Legislative Director spoke on behalf of a pro-LGBTQ candidate at a caucus on Monday night.

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Eric Branstad was announced as Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s new Director of Legislative Affairs less than a year ago. But on Monday night, Branstad pitched for Republican State Rep. Joe Mitchell, who is competing against Republican State Rep. Jeff Shipley in a primary after redistricting.

Mitchell was recently endorsed by Terry Branstad, who has served on Run GenZ’s advisory board as chairman. Run GenZ is an organization that was co-founded by Mitchell.

So it isn’t a shock that Eric Branstad would speak on behalf of Mitchell. But, considering Branstad’s role with Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, it is somewhat surprising given Mitchell’s stance on LGBTQ-related issues.

Mitchell has been one of the most vocal Republicans in support of banning conversion therapy in Iowa — a practice that allows parents to take a child to a licensed health care professional to talk through any confusion they may have about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In 2020, Mitchell vowed to return in 2021 and try to push through legislation that would ban conversion therapy.

“We need to get a general consensus, but I’m sure the legislation will go through,” he said.

He also said that LGBTQ rights should be “bipartisan.”

Last month Mitchell (as well as Run GenZ) was on the receiving end of praise from the Log Cabin Republicans. The Log Cabin Republicans is the nation’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives.

Among the group’s priorities — banning conversion therapy. The group wants a nationwide ban on conversion therapy for anyone under 18 years old.

The group also calls for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to civil rights code. Due to those two traits being in Iowa’s Civil Rights Code, individuals are allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds with their “gender identity” in Iowa schools. It also led to the whole Pella pool fiasco. And it will undoubtedly be a crutch used in the debate on preserving and protecting women’s sports.

Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition expressed excitement that Branstad delivered remarks about the upcoming legislative session at its fall event in September.

“We are thrilled about this new partnership that will enhance IFFC’s effectiveness on the ‘Hill,'” said Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Facebook post from the fall event.

Branstad, though, isn’t even a registered lobbyist, according to the Iowa Legislative website. In fact, Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition has one registered lobbyist — Patrick Purtill of Washington D.C. Purtill has registered on one bill for IFFC this year — a bill relating to probation, including the length of probation, discharge from probation, payment of fines and fees as well as probation violations.

Author: Jacob Hall

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