gay rights

Flickr / Jimmy Emerson, DVM

A town of 6,000 people in northwest Iowa will have its first Pride Festival this weekend to provide information, fun and fellowship for LGBTQ community.

Orange City, the seat of Sioux County, is home to Northwestern College, a Christian liberal arts school. Pride organizer Michael Goll is a Northwestern graduate and graphic designer. Today he lives in Orange City with his husband.

The pair and a couple of friends decided their small, conservative-leaning community needed to celebrate its LGBTQ culture because, as Goll says, “why not?”

Marcia Cirillo/flickr

A hard-fought race for a southeast Iowa legislative seat is entering its final days, and the topic of transgender bathroom rights has emerged as an issue in the race.     

Democrats and Republicans are both waging expensive races to fill the seat vacated with the death of Democrat Curt Hanson in House District 82. Some consider the race a bellwether for Democratic prospects after the Republican sweep of the state last fall.   

Alan Light/Wikimedia Commons

A new coalition of organizations in Iowa is working to keep young people who identify as LGBTQ out of the welfare and juvenile justice systems by finding them supportive places to live. The group calls itself AFFIRM, and it’s looking to include gender-neutral language in all paperwork required of potential foster and adoptive parents.

One of AFFIRM’s founders, Penny McGee, says such changes may not be as easy as they appear, possibly requiring legislative approval and some costs.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

This show originally aired May 12, 2016

With the lawsuits between North Carolina and the Department of Justice and widespread boycotts of establishments like Target for their inclusive bathroom policies, transgender rights have been dominating the news cycle. In the middle of the politics and punditry, it's easy to lose sight of what being transgender actually means. Jay Irwin, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, says language is a good place to start.

Iowa’s largest LGBTQ organization has selected a new executive director.

Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel will become the head of One Iowa, beginning in January. He grew up in Pomeroy and now lives in Bondurant.

Hoffman-Zinnel says he isn’t looking to make any rash changes, but one top priority is legislation that bans youth gay-conversion therapy. Many teens are forced into treatment to change their sexuality or gender.

Flickr / "George" Larcher

Sunday is Transgender Day of Remembrance, and people in central Iowa will gather at 6:00 pm at the steps of the state capitol for a vigil to remember those in the global trans community who have been lost to violence in 2016. 

Sophia Stone of Transformations Iowa, a support group for transgender and non-binary people, says Sunday’s vigil will honor people who have been murdered because of their gender non-conforming identities.

Flickr / Roger W

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is holding a rural LGBT summit Thursday at Drake University.

Ashlee Davis is the director of the event, which is the 15th the USDA has held in the rural and southern U.S.. Davis says some there’s a widely-held myth that LGBT people don’t live in rural American, but data from the most recent U.S. Census shows that's not the case.

Michael Leland/IPR

Several dozen people gathered Sunday evening on the west grounds of the Iowa Capitol, in honor of those killed in the Orlando mass shooting early Sunday morning.  The deaths of at least 49 people and the wounding of 53 others at a gay nightclub came as Des Moines and other cities around the country were celebrating National LGBT Pride Month in the U.S. with parades and other events this weekend.

Elsewhere in Iowa, members of the group Iowa City Pride plan to discuss ways they can help the shooting victims. 

courtesy of Jack Schuler

Last Saturday, Democrats held conventions in all four of Iowa’s congressional districts and chose their national delegates and electors. (Delegates choose the party's nominee, electors represent Iowa's votes in the electoral college.) One of those electors is Jack Schuler, a English teacher at Lincoln High School in Des Moines who may be making history. While the Democratic party has had transgender delegates previously, it’s possible that Jack, who was born as Elyse Schuler, is the first transgender elector in Iowa, and in the nation. 

Herry Lawford / Flickr

Dr. Stephen Nelson first became aware of the LGBT healthcare disparity through another boundary that frequently occurs between doctor and patients--race. The director of the Sickle Cell Clinic at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, he found his patients shared a common thread.

ACLU / Whitney Curtis

A black, transgender woman has filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, saying staff at a West Des Moines hotel treated her hostilely because of her gender identity and race.

Maria Filippone, Glori's mother.

Roosevelt High School student Glori Dei Filippone of Des Moines is being honored with the ACLU of Iowa’s annual Mannheimer Youth Advocacy Award. 

This past January the Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas-based Christian group with anti-LGBTQ views, planned to picket East High School in Des Moines. The then-16-year-old Filippone and her friend Cole Rehbein organized a lunch-time “Love Rally” where they chanted messages of support for LGBTQ equality. Roughly 700 students from across Des Moines attended the rally.

Flickr / Brood_wich

The transgender community has become increasingly visible this year. That’s thanks in part to celebrities like reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, video blogger Aydian Dowling and actress Laverne Cox.

Based on media coverage, one might assume that to be happy and transgender in America, you have to live in a larger city, but that’s not the case. There are many trans people living in small towns in Iowa and across the country.

Angus Pollock is a personal chef in Storm Lake. Pollock was assigned the gender of female at birth, and has lived most of his life as a woman or girl.

This morning the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right in all 50 states.

The ruling comes on the heels of one of the fastest changes in public opinion in U.S. history. Author Tom Witosky, author of Equal Before the Law, says it’s been a quick sea change.

Flickr / United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The world’s first openly gay head of government is in Iowa. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir served as Iceland’s Prime Minister from 2009 to 2013.

Sigurðardóttir is one of the keynote speakers for the 10th annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, which takes place Friday at the Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona. 

John Pemble

So-called conversion therapy seeks to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian youth.

Courtesy of Veronica Hamly

Veronica Hamly has lived her entire life between categories.

Alan Light / Flickr

In the third annual Municipality Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign, each of the five Iowa cities measured scored above the national average.

reflexblue / Flickr

Cyd Zeigler said the idea for Outsports.com came from the simple desire to talk about sports with other gay men.

When Ed Krug was growing up in Cedar Rapids he felt like he always had something to prove.

Melanie Hoffert / melaniehoffert.com

Melanie Hoffert grew up on a farm in North Dakota.  Like so many others, she left.  But now she feels torn between the land and people she loves and the freedom to live an authentic life.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Hoffert about her memoir Prairie Silence: A Rural Ex-Patriot's Journey to Reconcile, Home, Love and Faith.  In that book, she describes the month she returned to her family farm to help her father and brother during harvest.  They also discuss what it was like to grow up as a gay woman in rural North Dakota.

Mod Photography

Five years ago the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in Varnum v. Brien that same-sex marriage was legal in Iowa.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with people who have been affected by the decision including Ryan Roemerman of the Iowa Pride Network, retired Presbyterian minister Rev. Greg Smith, and events planner Beau Fodor.  Also, Heather Yoeman and Dean Genth discuss being able to marry their same-sex spouses.

Daniel R. Blume / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

On this News Buzz edition of the program, hear about a legislative shouting match, legalizing fireworks, the ACLU lawsuit against the Iowa Secretary of State, a survey of Iowans' thoughts on gay marriage, the Kepler mission, and a push to increase studying abroad.

Legislative shouting match and and other legislative fireworks:

ACLU lawsuit:

Same-sex marriage opinions:

Finding exoplanets:

Studying abroad:

Mike Hiatt

Story County's county attorney decided that the use of deadly force in this week's shooting of a chase suspect was justified.  Nevertheless, the chase resulted in the death of a young man and raises many questions.

Host Ben Kieffer discusses the facts of the deadly high-speed chase in Ames with IPR's Joyce Russell.  Also, ISU and Ames Laboratory engineers have recently developed real-time, 3-D conferencing technology.

When Ed Krug was growing up in Cedar Rapids he felt like he always had something to prove.  He was a successful athlete and went on to be a very aggressive and successful lawyer, but there was something wrong and he finally realized that he could no longer live as a man.  Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Ellen Krug about being transgender and her journey to where she is today.

cool revolution / flickr

On Politics Wednesday on River to River, guest host Dean Borg talks about recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.  Guests include political analysts Donna Hoffman, Professor and Chair of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.  Iowa Congressman Steve King also gives his reaction to the rulings and gives an update on the Farm Bill from Washington D.C.

Legislative Preview: 04/22/13

Apr 22, 2013
John Pemble

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins 'Morning Edition' Host Sarah McCammon for a weekly conversation about legislative news.

Trans Oral History Project website

This weekend in Iowa City, several events are planned around the theme of celebrating and understanding the lives of transgendered persons.

Andre Perez of the Trans Oral History Project in Chicago joins IPR's Sarah McCammon for a conversation about trans issues and workshops designed to gather the stories of transgendered Iowans.

For more information about this weekend's events at the University of Iowa, click here.

Zach Wahls / Facebook

Just last year BSA reaffirmed its policy that gay members and gay or lesbian leaders are prohibited from participation. However, now the BSA is considering revising that policy so that each local chapter can individually decide its policy on gay membership. Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, who is one of the national leaders encouraging the Boy Scouts to be more inclusive.

Some high-profile Republicans are saying it’s time to “let go” of one battle in the culture wars — the fight against same-sex marriage.

David Kochel was an advisor to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Kochel says he wants to begin a conversation about changing the Republican Party’s idea of family values.

“I like to think of it as my Republican values, and my conservative values—being pro-marriage, pro-family, and believing in intact families as the best place to give children a hope for the future,” he says.

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