# LGBTQ



Grassley rewrites history on marriage equality stance

The U.S. Senate is on track to pass legislation protecting same-sex marriage rights, after twelve Republicans (including Senator Joni Ernst) joined all Democrats in voting to proceed with debating the bill on November 16.

Senator Chuck Grassley was among the 37 Republicans who voted to block the bill. In a written statement, he claimed the legislation would “put people with certain sincere religious beliefs at greater legal risk,” even though a bipartisan amendment addressed concerns of religious organizations well enough to satisfy the Mormon Church.

Grassley also portrayed himself as supporting marriage equality: “Of course I believe that all married couples should be able to continue to benefit from the same federal rights and privileges that Barbara and I have enjoyed for 68 years – regardless of their race or sexual orientation.”

That’s not what he said when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, or when the Iowa Supreme Court struck down our state’s Defense of Marriage Act.

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Iowans deserve better than "school choice"

Below are the edited remarks Nick Covington made in Des Moines at the Public Funds for Public Schools press conference, organized by Progress Iowa on November 2.

My name is Nick Covington. I taught social studies at Ankeny High School from 2012 to June of this year. As a teacher, I saw first-hand that most Iowans, including teachers and parents, want the same thing: strong, quality public schools that give every student the freedom to reach their full potential. All students, no matter what they look like or their zip code, deserve the freedom to learn and succeed. 

Governor Kim Reynolds’ website currently reads: “School choice allows public education funds to follow students to the schools or services that meet their needs—and allows parents to choose what’s best for their children, whether that’s a different public school, a private or charter school, home school or other learning environment.”

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Not all Iowans welcome in Kim Reynolds' field of dreams

“Here in this field of dreams that we call home, anything is possible,” Governor Kim Reynolds declares near the end of her last television commercial before the November election.

Although the ad is superficially upbeat, its script and carefully chosen images convey an exclusionary message. To Reynolds, the place “we call home” is for people like herself: straight, white Christians from rural areas.

It’s another divisive move for a candidate who already spent heavily to bring racist tropes to Iowans’ tv screens.

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When "reasonable" takes a turn that is not

Randy Evans can be reached at DMRevans2810@gmail.com

“Reasonable” is a word that is used often in Iowa’s laws. Reasonable fees. Reasonable rules. Reasonable efforts. Reasonable force.

But events in recent weeks show government officials are not always following what many Iowans would think the term means. And when government officials deviate from “reasonable,” they should not be surprised if their standing or the stature of their agency suffers in the public’s eyes.

Consider the Linn-Mar Community School District.

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Resources for Iowans concerned about monkeypox

The state of Iowa has opened a call line to answer questions about monkeypox, and continues to limit vaccinations to groups most at risk of contracting the virus.

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (the recently merged Department of Human Services and Department of Public Health) has a call line (515-725-2081) open during regular business hours, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Questions related to monkeypox can also be emailed to the department: monkeypoxvaccine@idph.iowa.gov.

As of August 17, Iowa had fifteen confirmed monkeypox cases, eight of them in the central region that includes Polk County. According to HHS public information officer Sarah Ekstrand, all known Iowa cases involved adults; “At this time, the risk of monkeypox to children and adolescents in the United States is low.”

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