Iowa LGBTQ Community to Legislators: Enough

With a record of 29 unique pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation released already this year, Iowa’s LGBTQ community has a message for the Iowa GOP legislators targeting them: enough.

Multiple LGBTQ advocacy organizations, business owners, community gathering places, Pride organizations, and local leaders have jointly issued a press release to tell legislators to stop focusing on harming LGBTQ people and start working toward legislation that benefits all Iowans.

Courtney Reyes, Executive Director of One Iowa, responded to the ongoing attacks on LGBTQ Iowans in a statement:

“These baseless ongoing attacks on LGBTQ Iowans need to end now. This legislation is turning our state into a national laughing stock, encouraging both employees and employers alike to flee from our state and never return. This will only further exacerbate our workforce crisis and make our state less attractive to new businesses and those currently deciding where they should relocate. We call on legislative leaders to denounce this harmful, unnecessary legislation and stop it in its tracks. Enough is enough.”

Becky Tayler, Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools, said the following in response to the legislation:

“The Iowa Legislature’s trend of bullying LGBTQ youth has reached a fever pitch this legislative session. The avalanche of proposed legislation is entirely intended to score cheap political points at the expense of children’s lives. These efforts are not original or grassroots; rather, they are targeted political assaults from out of state, dark money groups, seeking to divide Iowans. Iowans must stand up and protect our children and schools from these radical attacks.”

Jason Zeman, Owner of Basix and Studio 13, also issued the following statement:

“The systematic attack on the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community is abhorrent and disheartening. We are united and will continue to fight to make sure every LGBTQIA+ Iowan lives with freedom, safety, and can be their true self without government interference.”

Joe Reilly, President of Iowa City Pride, issued this statement to those advancing the legislation: “Our state motto is “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain“, however this current legislative session feels more like “Rights for me and not for thee”. The legislature needs to refocus their efforts on policies that benefit ALL Iowans and not stifle others for the sake of

personal comforts.”

Corey Jacobson, President of CR Pride, issued this statement to those advancing the legislation: “All families want their children to go to school in a safe and accepting environment. Instead of supporting all families, members of the legislature are targeting LGBTQIA+ families and making life more difficult. These bills will have negative impacts on families throughout the state. We call on the legislature to stop trying to divide Iowans with harmful legislation and support all families in Iowa.”

Dan Jansen, Board Chair of Capital City Pride issued this statement to those advancing the legislation: “I am deeply concerned by the legislation being introduced in Iowa that singles out LGBTQ+ individuals, attacking some of the most vulnerable members of society. Iowa has always held a foundational belief permeating our state from its very inception; namely, “a powerful commitment to the equality and inalienable rights of all people within its borders”. After years of moving closer towards equality of opportunity, public leaders are now accelerating policy to make life harder for LGBTQ+ people who work, live, and go to school here. This cruelty does not align with the values I learned growing up in Iowa. We call on the legislature to stop trying to divide Iowans with harmful legislation and support all families in Iowa.

Keenan Crow is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for One Iowa. Crow has been active in Iowa politics since 2010 when they interned with Chris Hall’s campaign for Iowa State Representative. Crow obtained a BA in Political Communications and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Northern Iowa. They are a 2018 New Leaders Council fellow.