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When do we officially move the Castro to Iowa?

by Jeremy Hooper

Wednesday is both the State of the Union and the expected launch of the new Apple tablet. But pish posh on all that trivial stuff, for it's also the day that Iowa's governor will further enhance his state's growing reputation as a gay rights beacon, this time by proclaiming an official recognition of gay-straight alliances:


Governor Chet Culver will proclaim Wednesday January 27 “Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day”. The day, organized by Iowa Pride Network seeks to honor student GSA groups in high schools and colleges that work to end violence and harassment of students including those that are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

The night before, Media is invited to cover Iowa Pride Network’s “GSA Day Kick-Off Party” at Ritual Café in downtown Des Moines. Special Guest Lt. Governor Patty Judge will read the official Iowa GSA Day Proclamation signed by Governor Culver.

More information about Iowa GSA Day HERE

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
GSA Day Kick-Off Party, 5-7 p.m.
Ritual Café, 1301 Locust Street, Des Moines

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Iowa GSA Day
On College and High School Campuses Statewide

GSAs decrease absenteeism, name-calling, harassment and assault. According to the 2007 Iowa School Climate Survey, in schools WITH GSAs, LGBT students are:

· 25% less likely to be verbally harassed because of their gender
· 23% less likely to skip class
· 23% less likely to be physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation
· 21% more likely to report never having been sexually harassed at school
· 12% less likely to be physically harassed or assaulted because of their gender expression

This is the fourth year of Iowa GSA Day. Iowa is the only state in the nation with such a day.

About Iowa Pride Network
Iowa Pride Network empowers students to fight homophobia and transphobia in high schools and colleges by supporting gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs and providing leadership opportunities and organizing projects centered on social justice.
More info: Iowa Pride Network


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Your thoughts

I'm beginning to feel a little ripped off that my parents only moved to Iowa AFTER I graduated college and moved out on my own. This would've been so beneficial for me to experience in high school (and heck, even college) while I was growing up.

Still, go Iowa!

Posted by: Aya | Jan 25, 2010 12:58:18 PM

WOW.... Again, I'm proud to be an Iowan.... Though Gov. Culver is a 'little late to the party' concerning gay rights, etc. (he just couldn't quite come out for support of the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous decision, for example), he is trying, at least.

As my husband & I were one of the 6 couples in the original Lambda Legal law suit for marriage equality here in Iowa, we are glad to have been a part of this.

Posted by: David Twombley | Jan 25, 2010 1:05:20 PM

What good news! Before same-sex marriage, the only things I liked about Iowa were corn and Leslie Hall. It's nice knowing that equality has a haven in the Heartland.

Posted by: Harrison | Jan 25, 2010 1:46:43 PM

A gay straight alliance is powerful and epitomizes courage, love and every important and good value a human being has to offer.
Why more young people aren't encouraged is no surprise.
Closeness, friendship, would defy hate and all it's cousins.

Segregation only has meaning to those who fear honesty, the truth and compassion.

Gay straight alliances prove that love, and courage make a better world than the anti gay have to offer.

They really hate being shown up and outclassed.
Aw, and ain't that just too damn bad!

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Jan 25, 2010 2:23:39 PM

And in a related story, Maggie Gallagher, in preparation for her upcoming visit to Iowa, was said to have been spotted trying on full head and face covering white hoods. One can only assume that she's trying to protect the sanctity of the skin on her face from being recognized on the streets of Iowa towns. "The people there, they just don't get me," she is rumored to have said. As for Brain Brown, it has long been rumored that he already has his own white hood and long draping white dress... more at ten.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jan 25, 2010 2:51:50 PM

Awe, yay!!! Way to go, Chet!!! Yet another reason why I am proud to be an Iowan Gay man. But, seriously, J. the quicker we make Iowa the new Castro., the better, what with the Dems. saying, essentially, that they will ONLY cease from having a debate about a Gay Marriage Amendment this session, which ends this year; in other words, they may, very well, try and allow a debate on the issue of a Republican-written Amendment next year--and, that terrifies me!

But, why Wednesday 27 January? Why not in April, and on the day that the Supreme Court issued it's ruling? It'd be far more powerful, I should think.

Incidentally, this news is more encouraging (if, in fact, we can count on Chet to fully support us and not simply play politics with our lives), because, remember, LUV Iowa and the Republicans were out on capital hill denouncing us, screaming, "LET US VOTE!!! LET US VOTE!!!" and harping on Chet's "State of the State" address in which he proclaimed more than once, that, "With God, all things are possible."

However, I wouldn't place any bets on our generally conservative media to cover the event at the Ritual Cafe (I love that place, btw! Though, Java Joes on Court Ave is better as far as coffee and food); they didn't show up to cover pagan Pride back in September after being invited, and they didn't generally do us any justice about explaining what marriage REALLY means to us when they had the chance...instead, they just sold us to the public as being "controversial"! Indeed, if this is the FOURTH year that Iowa has acknowledged such a day, then WHY am I only NOW hearing about it, 'eh? ;o)

Posted by: Wade MacMorrighan | Jan 25, 2010 3:27:24 PM

@ Dick: Mags is seriously preparing for a visit to IOWA?!?!?!? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you have some substantiation for this, so that I can try to rally the troops?

Posted by: Wade MacMorrighan | Jan 25, 2010 6:08:03 PM

Wade, I'm not privy to the Gagger's schedule (god, I think I just threw up a bit in my mouth), but if you see a large silhouette in head-face-covering to toe white (kind of like a giant white onion), then you might want to warn the school children to shield their eyes because the face of true evil is in their midst.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jan 25, 2010 9:21:34 PM

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