Letter to the Editor | Bigotry is bad for business and Iowa families

Former UI student and staff member Quentin Misiag responds to recent legislative actions in Iowa.


$3.76 billion.

That’s the estimated amount of money the state of North Carolina will have lost in the 12 years after the 2017 law limiting the LGBTQ+ protections.

As Iowa Republican lawmakers continue pushing dozens of anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Des Moines, I’d be remiss if I didn’t quantify the threat these bills present to the Hawkeye State economy. Simply put, bigotry is bad for business.

A state with aging roads, bridges, schools and healthcare facilities, Iowa lawmakers should be focusing their time and effort on improving the lives of all Iowans, not discriminating against marginalized communities that sends a signal to families and companies that Iowa isn’t a welcoming place for all.

As a proud son of the Hawkeye State, I am who I am today because of my upbringing in Iowa City. Growing up, I was taught unwavering acceptance. While Iowa City has long been recognized as one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the country, I have long found acceptance in even the ruralist pockets of the state. In fact, a recent Human Rights Campaign poll found that 72 percent of Iowans support marriage equality, one of 18 states whose support was higher than 70 percent.

Recent history has not been kind to LGBTQ+ Iowans, despite the fact that the state became the third U.S. state to legalize gay marriage. I encourage all Iowans to call and email their lawmakers and encourage them to support equality. Contact Iowa reporters and encourage them to keep covering this issue. Share your LGBTQ+ journey on social media. Register to vote (and vote). Support the many LGBTQ+ businesses across the state, and when able, donate to LGBTQ advocacy groups, including One Iowa.

It’s time to stand up to right-wing scare tactics and deceptive discrimination. Bigotry is bad for business, and Iowans will not tolerate it.

  • Quentin Misiag, former UI student and staff member, Iowa City West High School graduate

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.