Where’s Iowa Love?

LGBTQ+ Advocacy and Support Work Group

We’ve all heard the saying, “Iowa nice.” But where’s Iowa love? There are several bills in the Iowa legislature that attack our LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender youth.These bills are inhospitable and oppressive, which is not love. Our LGBTQ+ youth are feeling scared, unwanted, and unloved. Attacking and suppressing a class of people because of who they are is not love.

Iowans used to value education. The American Psychological Association recently passed resolutions supporting sexual/gender diverse children and adolescents in schools. These resolutions affirm same-sex romantic attractions as normal and positive. They also affirm diverse gender expressions and diverse gender identities as normal and positive, and recommend that schools respect the right to privacy for students with regard to sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, and transgender status. They further recommend that school personnel not share information with anyone without that individual’s informed consent. (Resolution on Supporting Sexual/Gender Diverse Children and Adolescents in Schools (apa.org)) Denying a person’s identity and sharing private information about a person without consent is not love.

Many Iowans seem to prioritize their personal religion over knowledge and love. They often say, “The Bible says…” We at Grace United Methodist Church read and study the Bible, but we put our faith in Christ and follow Him in His ways living by His Spirit producing the fruit of His Spirit. Bible verses are often used in an attempt to force a person’s religion onto others disguising it as “Christianity”. Forcing one’s religion onto others is not love.

As for people’s rights, it is not love to promote one group’s rights while trampling on another group’s rights. LGBTQ+ individuals have the right to be who they are and to be treated equally. Trampling on an individual’s rights is not love.
A person’s gender attraction and gender identity is not the business of the government. The business of the government is to protect all Iowans’ rights, liberties, and freedoms equally without exception. Intruding into personal business without cause is not love. We stand with Iowa’s LGBTQ+ community and Iowa’s transgender youth. You are uniquely beautiful and we love you.

Forget Iowa nice. Where’s Iowa love?

Jon Coon, Rev. Bob Dean, Rev. Jim Perdue, Kristen Erickson, Dianne Fagner, Brad Titus. Members of the LGBTQ+ Advocacy and Support Work Group, Grace United Methodist Church, Des Moines, Ia.

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