The riot planned by the IA group will not intimidate the LGBTQ community / the public information service

A leading LGBTQ organization in Iowa said members of the community would not back down after authorities in Idaho blocked a planned riot at a Pride event there. Thirty-one members of a white nationalist group were arrested on Saturday after law enforcement learned of the plans.

Keenan Crow, director of policy and advocacy for One Iowa Action, said this follows more impassioned rhetoric over the past year amid a push by some conservatives to adopt policies deemed hostile toward those who identify as LGBTQ. They feel that right-wing politicians foster a more toxic environment.

“To paint the LGBTQ community with this kind of defamatory brush, it’s no surprise that they would then prepare and try to disrupt an event in this way,” Crow claimed.

But Crow noted that LGBTQ people are used to hostilities and won’t be intimidated from celebrating their sexual identity at Pride festivals in Iowa and elsewhere. In a number of cases, the elected officials behind the policies in question will cite reasons such as religious beliefs, and Iowa recently joined the group of states in approving a so-called “transgender sports” law.

Among Iowa leaders, the group pointed to Governor Kim Reynolds’ recent comments as not helping the situation. At the GOP State Convention, Reynolds suggested that “elementary classes on pronouns” hurt public education. But Crow countered that it was a great starting point for teaching people how to treat LGBTQ people as equals.

“One of those basic elements of respect is getting someone’s name, their pronouns right,” Crow explained. “But if they’re demonized by the senior state government official as being somehow harmful, yes, that’s going to put a damper on our ability to ensure that people are treated with basic decency and respect. .”

And while Reynolds’ comments may not be as extreme as those of other conservative politicians, Crow added that it appears she is trying to step up the rhetoric in the current environment. This spring, a Des Moines-area school district released a diversity audit, which found racial and anti-LGBTQ slurs to be an “urgent concern.”

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