LGBTQ rights

Iowa Supreme Court overturns Branstad discrimination lawsuit

BY: - June 30, 2021

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a former state employee has no claims against former Gov. Terry Branstad in a decade-long discrimination case. “I am so incredibly appreciative of the ruling issued by the Iowa Supreme Court in this case today,” Branstad said in a statement Wednesday. “This has been a very long road […]

Supreme Court affirms transgender rights in declining to hear Virginia school bathroom case

BY: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not hear a case of a transgender student in Virginia who was barred from using the boys’ bathroom, a decision that affirms lower-court rulings that said treating transgender students differently violates federal law. Justices on the top court offered no comment in declining to take […]

COMMENTARY

Supreme Court unanimously upholds religious liberty over LGBTQ rights – and nods to a bigger win for conservatives ahead

BY: - June 19, 2021

It wasn’t a dramatic expansion of religious rights — not yet. But the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a Catholic adoption agency that had been excluded from Philadelphia’s foster programs for refusing to work with same-sex couples will be consequential. It suggests that when the broader question of whether religious groups have the right […]

Lawmakers, LGBTQ advocates expect transgender athlete ban proposal will return next session

BY: - May 21, 2021

Iowa lawmakers passed dozens of bills this week in a final sprint to the session’s finish line, but one proposal was notably absent: a ban on transgender athletes competing in women’s sports. Through the final weeks of session, Republican leaders said they were discussing the proposal, which Gov. Kim Reynolds had supported openly at a […]

COMMENTARY

Anti-transgender bills are latest version of conservatives’ longtime strategy to rally their base

BY: - May 9, 2021

On April 6, 2021, despite Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto, Arkansas became the first state to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming medical care like hormone treatments designed to delay puberty in transgender youth. So-called “puberty blockers” are used to delay the physical changes associated with puberty and provide time for transgender young people to consider […]

Reynolds’ plan to restrict transgender children’s role in school sports faces opposition

BY: and - May 6, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ plan to restrict the participation of transgender children in school sports is facing opposition from Democrats and some Iowa faith leaders. At her press conference Wednesday, Reynolds reiterated her desire to sign legislation that will in some way limit the ability of transgender students to participate in sports alongside other children. She […]

COMMENTARY

Dead bills are haunting the Capitol. Here’s one worth reviving.

BY: - May 3, 2021

The final days of the legislative session are like Halloween without the candy: The ghosts of dead bills start haunting the Capitol. In the past week or so, we’ve seen lawmakers try to resurrect a reduction in unemployment benefits, for example, that missed last month’s committee deadline. A ban on employers requiring COVID-19 vaccination for […]

COMMENTARY

Sports remain hostile territory for LGBTQ Americans

BY: and - April 11, 2021

For all of the gains LGBTQ people have made over the past few decades, sports remain a highly visible reminder that homophobia and transphobia persist. In recent years, more professional athletes, from U.S. women’s soccer team player Tierna Davidson to Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva, have come out of the closet. However, locker rooms remain less […]

COMMENTARY

Iowans deserve a governor, not a ruler

BY: - March 30, 2021

The Iowa Supreme Court chamber is a magnificent venue for the seven justices who referee the thorniest legal questions in our state. The courtroom seats a few dozen spectators. Last week, it’s a shame there weren’t thousands of people listening to the justices’ questions and the lawyers’ responses in the appeal of Christopher Godfrey’s lawsuit […]

Rachel Levine confirmed as highest-ranking openly transgender federal official

BY: - March 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Dr. Rachel Levine on Wednesday became the first openly transgender individual to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a federal position. The Senate voted 52-48 to confirm her as an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, […]

COMMENTARY

Iowa has more at stake than new road signs

BY: - March 11, 2021

Tucked away among hundreds of bills being considered this year by the Iowa Legislature is one people might have quickly embraced in a different era. But times have changed. It has been 38 years since Robert Ray left the governor’s office. State government today is far messier than it was back then. Compounding the reaction […]

GOP lawmakers grill Ames school officials on Black Lives Matter program

BY: - March 9, 2021

Republican state lawmakers castigated Ames school officials Tuesday for presenting what they called “one-sided” and “offensive” materials as part of a districtwide celebration of Black History Month. The House Government Oversight Committee held a nearly two-hour hearing on the curriculum and materials associated with what district officials called a “Black Lives Matter at School Week […]