Kirsten Gillibrand spends time with drag queens in Iowa gay bar

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) dropped by gay bar Blazing Saddle in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday night where she spent some quality time with the drag queens.

The Democratic presidential hopeful hung out with the queens backstage at Blazing Saddle, known as the “Gay Cheers” since its 1983 opening, did her makeup with them and even lent one queen her dress.

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VIDEO: Buttigieg supporters drown out anti-LGBTQ heckler

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg calmly dismissed anti-LGBTQ hecklers with the help of his supporters during his first visit to Iowa April 16.

The initial heckler confronted Buttigieg at a town hall in Fort Dodge, the AP reports, after Buttigieg discussed marriage equality. “You betray your baptism!” the protester said before being escorted from the gathering.

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Iowa pollster: Pete Buttigieg strikes chord, could be ‘dark horse’

By : Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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In the aftermath of an Iowa poll this week placing Pete Buttigieg in a surprising third place among other candidates, the political expert behind the data said the gay 2020 hopeful could achieve a “dark horse” victory next year.

Spencer Kimball, a professor in political and sports communication at Emerson College, said the poll marks a distinct change for Buttigieg, who was polling at zero in Iowa just two months ago.

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Iowa court: Medicaid can cover sex reassignment surgery

By : Wire Report
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The Iowa Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling March 8 that says the state cannot deny two transgender women Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery.

The state’s high court agreed with Judge Arthur Gamble’s ruling in June that a 1995 Iowa Department of Human Services policy denying Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery violates the state’s 2007 Civil Rights Act, which added gender identity to the state’s list of protected classes.

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Jury sides with transgender employee in ‘historic’ Iowa case

By : wire report
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) | A jury ruled Feb. 13 that an Iowa prison warden discriminated against a transgender employee by denying him the use of men’s restrooms and locker rooms in a verdict that advocates call “historic.”

Jurors also found that the state executive branch discriminated against Jesse Vroegh by offering medical benefits that would not cover his gender reassignment surgery. After making those findings, the eight-member jury awarded $120,000 in damages for emotional distress to Vroegh, 37, a former nurse at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.

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Concerns about bullying lead district to suspend principal

By : wire report
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AMES, Iowa (AP) | Concerns about student-to-student bullying have led the Ames school district to suspend its middle school principal.

District spokesman Eric Smidt says the decision to move out principal Dan Fox wasn’t based off just one incident but rather was an effort to improve Ames Middle School.

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Iowa judge rules transgender women deserve surgery coverage

By : wire report
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa cannot deny two transgender women Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery, a state court judge ruled Thursday, declaring a policy denying their care violates the Iowa Constitution and its civil rights law.

Carol Ann Beal of northwest Iowa and EerieAnna Good of the Quad Cities in eastern Iowa filed the lawsuit last year after their Medicaid provider and the Iowa Department of Human Services denied surgery requests recommended by doctors.

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Petition calls for separating LGBT materials in Iowa library

By : wire report
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ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) — Residents in northwest Iowa are fighting over a petition that calls on the public library to separate material dealing with LGBTQ issues and to request public input before acquiring such material.

Some expressed support for the Orange City Public Library’s integration of LGBTQ materials at a library board meeting Tuesday, the Sioux City Journal reported .

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Justice Dept. to help in Iowa case of slain transgender teen

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has sent a federal hate crimes lawyer to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with killing a transgender teenager last year, an unusual decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions even as he takes other steps to erode the rights of transgender people broadly.

The case involves Jorge Sanders-Galvez, 23, who is charged with killing 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson in Burlington, Iowa, in March 2016. Authorities have not disclosed a motive, but Johnson’s relatives say he may have been targeted because he identified as both male and female.

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Ex-Iowa official’s discrimination lawsuit goes to trial

By : Wire Report
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)- A former University of Iowa athletic administrator was an outstanding employee on track to head a college program until she was unfairly transferred and later laid off for discriminatory reasons, her attorney argued April 18 during opening statements of the trial over her lawsuit against the school.

The trial is expected to offer a behind-the-curtain glimpse at big-time college sports, with testimony from athletic director Gary Barta, head football coach Kirk Ferentz and others. Jurors must decide whether former administrator Jane Meyer suffered workplace discrimination as a gay woman in a relationship with a Hawkeye coach, whether the school retaliated against her and whether she was paid far less than deputy athletic director Gene Taylor for similar work.

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Sioux City police add LGBTQ liaison to force

By : Wire Report
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Sioux City Police Department has named its first liaison to the LGBTQ community.

The department announced April 5 that Officer Brooke Davies has taken the position to promote communication and cooperation between the police and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, the Sioux City Journal reported.

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Gay candidate calls vandalism of Iowa home a hate crime

By : Wire Report
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WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — An openly gay candidate for Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors is calling vandalism to his house a hate crime.

Candidate Christopher Schwartz told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that anti-gay messages were painted on campaign signs in his yard and the door of his house. The message on his door reads “Lev 20:13,” which likely is a reference to a Bible verse that condemns homosexuality.

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