Letter to the Editor | Clergy respond

Local clergy and faith leaders address Iowa LGBTQ legislation.


Rohan Abernathy-Wee

Student protestors hold signs in front of City High, Mar. 1, 2023.

Over the last seven weeks of the Iowa legislative session, lawmakers have introduced numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills.

Bills restricting teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity as well as acknowledgment of gender identity without a parent’s permission are finding their way through our legislative processes. Legislation is also being considered to restrict gender-affirming medical care for transgender teens.

As people of faith, we stand with all LGBTQ+ Iowans, and we stand against any laws that limit a person’s full human expression and dignity. We claim again that all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are loved by God.

Study after study reminds us that LGBTQ+ children and youth are more likely to consider or attempt suicide and more likely to struggle with anxiety and depression when they are not in supportive environments. The state of Iowa is becoming less safe and less supportive for LGBTQ+ youth as a result of these legislative efforts.

And it is not only young people who are being impacted. Almost 14 years ago, Iowa took a then uncommon step to legalize same-gender marriage. In the years since, many LGBTQ+ people have confidently made their homes in Iowa feeling safe and protected.

And yet with each anti-LGBTQ+ piece of legislation that is introduced, people become more fearful of the rights they could lose—rights to housing, employment, marriage, parenting, healthcare, and safety.

We encourage people of faith to contact your legislators, speak openly about your support for all LGBTQ+ Iowans, and continue to stand up for rights for all.

  • Christine Wagner-Hecht, Rev. Jill Cameron Michel, and Rev. David Borger Germann

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.