The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Student organization OutLaws marks 35 years supporting UI, IC LGBTQ+ community

The student organization is for law students and started as the Iowa Lesbian and Gay Law Association.
Sara Stumpff
Mason Koelm, a third-year student, attends the Outlaws social gathering at the University of Iowa College Law in Iowa City on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.

Iowa Law student group OutLaws is a student group supporting not only LGBTQ+ law students but the larger community for nearly 35 years. 

As OutLaws nears 35 years as an organization, the Iowa Legislature continues to propose legislation targeting LGBTQ+ people and diversity. In March, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law banning all gender-affirming care for people aged under 18 years old. In June, Reynolds signed an education budget bill, which required public universities to pause DEI programs.

OutLaws has stood the test of time and continues to support diversity on campus and in the community. The organization was formerly known as the Iowa Lesbian and Gay Law Association and aims to achieve equality in the law and education surrounding different identities.

OutLaws was highlighted by Iowa Law in October for its decades-long work empowering the LGBTQ+ community. OutLaws is the only LGBTQ+ organization in the law school.

“It’s a good space for queer students to kind of come and get support,” OutLaws co-president Liam Conrad said. 

OutLaws hosts a weekly informal lunch hour from 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Boyd Law Building where students can come in and have the opportunity to talk with other queer law students about the law school and find support. OutLaws does not stop at just the law school as the group has hosted solidarity events open to the entire community.

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Conrad said the group’s most recent solidarity event was on Oct. 16 called a “solidarity stroll” where students and community members walked from the Women’s Center on 230 N. Clinton to the UI President’s Residence on 102 Church St.

“These solidarity events are just a place for the entire Iowa City community and the entire university community to come and show support for queer people across campus and across the community,” Conrad said. 

OutLaws co-president Courtney Camenzind said OutLaws also partners with other LGBTQ+ organizations on campus, such as the UI Pride Alliance Center, to host solidarity walks. Camenzind said it was able to include snacks, hot chocolate, and games for participants. 

Camenzind commended the support the law school has given the OutLaws. Both Camenzind and Conrad said they have felt supported by faculty in their goals. 

“I feel that we’ve been really well supported here … I think that speaks to the students as well as the faculty here,” Camenzind said. “People are just really willing to help and get involved.” 

Conrad said the long-term success of the organization has come from the students who have led it.

 “We have a great board now that’s kind of been able to keep things alive,” Conrad said. 

While Conrad believes there is support from the university, both Camenzind and Conrad said there is still work to be done to help support the LGBTQ+ community. 

“As to how we could do more to support queer students, and queer people generally, is to make sure that our legislature and our governor and all of our elected officials are taking our issues into account to make sure that we feel welcomed in the state,” Conrad said.

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About the Contributors
Jack Moore
Jack Moore, News Editor
Jack Moore is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is from Cedar Rapids Iowa. Along with working at The Daily Iowan, Jack works for the University of Iowa's UI-REACH program as a Resident Assistant. UI-REACH is a program for students with learning, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities intended to provide support to these students throughout their college experience. Additionally, Jack is involved in Iowa City's live music scene as he plays bass for local Iowa City band "Two Canes."
Sara Stumpff
Sara Stumpff, Photojournalist
Sara is a third year UI student who transfered from Kirkwood. She is a "non traditional" student who will hopefully obtain her BFA in Photography and BA in Spanish.