Connect with us

Anti-Gay Iowa Lawmaker Says He’s Sick Of Reading About How Anti-Gay He Is

Published

on

State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann Jokingly Denies Being In ‘Homosexual Relationship’ With Colleague

An anti-gay Iowa lawmaker is sick of reading about how anti-gay he is on “blogs.” 

As we reported last week, GOP state Rep. Bobby Kaufmann has launched an investigation into the annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, in response to allegations from Bob Vaander Plaats‘ anti-gay Family Leader group that the event included inappropriate content last year. 

In an apparent effort to ensure the investigation is biased, Kaufmann has appointed Republican Rep. Greg Heartsill, an outspoken critic of the conference, to a two-person committee charged with investigating the allegations. 

Supporters of the conference, put on by the nonprofit Iowa Safe Schools, have characterized the investigation as a witch hunt and political stunt. They note that because the conference isn’t funded by taxpayers, lawmakers don’t have the authority to regulate it. 

Nevertheless, a committee held its first hearing Wednesday, and Kaufmann lashed out at people who’ve criticized him for the investigation via email and on social media, including one who apparently accused him of being Heartsill’s lover, according to The Des Moines Register. 

“I am here to announce that Rep. Heartsill and I are not in a homosexual relationship,” Kaufmann said, apparently joking. “I am getting sick of reading all the crap that is on the blogs.”

Democratic state Rep. Mary Wolfe responded that putting up with criticism is part of being a legislator, and Nate Monson, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools, took offense to the implication that being in a gay relationship would be a bad thing. 

“That was just really painful to hear because LGBTQ kids are made fun of constantly and I would expect more from our legislators,” Monson said.

Of course, if Kaufman is tired of reading about the investigation, the obvious solution would be for him to call it off, but it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen. 

“I don’t care if 20 million people write us letters saying that this conference is the best thing since sliced bread, I am not going to say that this is OK,” Kaufmann said during Wednesday’s hearing.

On the other hand, a letter criticizing the conference has become Exhibit A in the investigation. 

Heartsill read the letter during the hearing from Jamie Ehlert, a teacher at West Des Moines Valley High School who attended the conference and claims to be an LGBT ally. 

“We take these allegations very seriously,” Heartsill said. “There is no reason to question the credibility and truthfulness of this statement.”

RELATED: Anti-Gay Iowa Republican Partners With Anti-Gay Christian Group To Bully Anti-Bullying LGBTQ Group

According to a copy of her letter provided to The New Civil Rights Movement by Monson, Ehlert wrote that her anti-bullying group won’t be attending the conference this year, due to “extremely vulgar language and X-rated material” at last year’s event. She specifically objected to two presentations featuring comedian and LGBT ally Sam Killermann, during which he answered questions related to sexual health that were submitted via social media.

Ehlert said Killermann gave information about finding “orgies” and porn on the Internet, as well as how to safely practice bondage. She also took issue with a closing presentation from drag queen Coco Peru, who allegedly sang about how “the bullies should be poisoned and fucking die.” 

In a letter responding to Ehlert’s concerns, Monson wrote that Iowa Safe Schools doesn’t intend to alter the content of the conference, now in its 11th year.  

“I am sorry to hear an anti-bully group is missing the purpose of this important event for LGBTQ students and their families,” Monson wrote, adding that an LGBTQ teen takes his or her life every five hours in the US. “This is due to isolation and discrimination they face on an ongoing basis. This Conference continues to serve as the one place these students can go to feel supported.” 

Killermann also responded to Ehlert’s concerns in an interview with KCCI-TV. 

“Anything sex education and providing information on sexual health, any answer can be twisted and turned into something salacious. That is what is happening here,” Killermann said. “What we were doing was responding to kids’ questions that they don’t get to ask people typically.”

Wolfe, the Democratic lawmaker, questioned the point of the investigation given that Kaufmann has said it’s not his intent to shut down the conference. 

“I don’t understand why we are doing this and I don’t understand what the end game is,” Wolfe said. “I’m also sure we can get hundreds, if not thousands, of letters from people who have attended this presentation, and it’s saved their lives it meant so much to them.” 

Monson told The Des Moines Register that the investigation has only served to exacerbate the underlying problem. 

“After this conference and after this investigation started, we received numerous emails very threatening and very intimidating, probably hundreds of them, that were very disgusting and very disturbing,” Monson said. “So our concern is safety of students and I hope that Rep. Kaufmann will understand that has just simply sensationalized this conference and is putting LGBTQ youth at risk.”

The committee reportedly plans to continue its investigation by calling Monson to testify in a few weeks. 

Meanwhile, Iowa GOP Gov. Terry Branstad has left out funds for a bullying prevention office in his budget recommendations for the coming year. 

 

EARLIER:

Anti-Gay Lawmakers Revive ‘Witch Hunt’ Against LGBTQ Youth Conference

Top Anti-Gay Activist Demands Schools Teach Gays They Can Never Have Sex

‘We’ve Always Been Married In Our Hearts’: Iowa Women Talk About Their 72 Years Together (Video)

 

This article has been updated to reflect Sam Killermann is an LGBT ally, not LGBT

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Dismisses ‘Real Small, Minor Number’ of Rapes Requiring Abortions

Published

on

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) declined to say on Sunday if he would sign a bill removing abortion exceptions for rape because they only represent a “real small, minor number” of cases.

During an interview on Fox News, host Mike Emmanuel asked Reeves if he would remove the abortion exceptions for rape in Mississippi.

Reeves sidestepped the question by insisting that the bill would never make it through the legislature.

“There’s a lot of effort, particularly in Washington and other places mainly by the Democrats, to try to talk only about the real small, minor number of exceptions that may exist,” he complained. “Over 90% of all abortions that are done in America, some 63 million babies aborted since Roe was wrongly decided in 1973, over 90% of those are elective abortions.”

Reeves argued that the “far-left” should not be talking about “all these exceptions and minor numbers.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

Continue Reading

News

Trump Hinted Jan. 6 Would Be His ‘Last-Ditch’ Attempt to Overturn the Election Results: Filmmaker Alex Holder

Published

on

In an interview with the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell, a British documentary maker who was filming behind-the-scenes footage in Donald Trump’s White House on Jan 6th claimed he knew something bad was about to happen before supporters of the former president stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

Alex Holder, whose film crew was on hand and filming Trump and his children Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka on Jan 6th, stated there was a feeling among his people that something momentous was about to happen.

According to Lowell, “Holder was there for it all: three sit-down interviews with Trump, including one at the White House, numerous other interviews with Trump’s adult children, private conversations among top aides and advisers before the election, and around the Capitol itself as it got stormed.” adding, “The access to Trump, and listening to him and his inner circle, led him to suspect that the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election would somehow culminate in some event at the Capitol on 6 January.”

Asked about what his feeling was prior to the riot that engulfed the Capitol building, Holder explained, “I wasn’t 100% sure, but it was sort of a feeling, so we prepared for that thing to happen. The reason we thought January 6 was because, in Trump’s mind, the last-ditch effort was to stop the process” of the vote certification by Congress.

RELATED: Man behind J6 documentary needs ‘two armed guards’ due to Trump supporters’ threats: BBC

He elaborated, “That ceremonial process that takes place in Congress on January 6, he felt, was the last time where he could, in his mind, stop the election going to the wrong person, as it were. The rhetoric that was coming out was that the election was rigged, [that] we need to fight.”

According to the Guardian report, Holder has, “testified for about four hours behind closed doors last week about his roughly 100 hours of footage, used for an upcoming documentary titled Unprecedented, and turned over to House investigators the parts demanded in a subpoena compelling his cooperation.”

Lowell added, “Holder said he additionally did a one-to-one interview with then-vice president Mike Pence, including a scene where Pence briefly reviews an email about the 25th amendment – which concerns the removal of a US president – which was privately discussed among senior White House officials in the wake of the Capitol attack.”

You can read more here.

Continue Reading

News

Meadows Allegedly Behind Possible Attempt at Witness Intimidation of Cassidy Hutchinson: Reports

Published

on

Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide and advisor to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, may be the victim of attempted witness intimidation, and the person who may have attempted to intimidate her may be her former boss.

The Guardian on Friday reports “Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to cooperate with the House January 6 select committee from an associate of former chief of staff Mark Meadows.”

That message, according to both CNN and The Guardian, was delivered at the direction of Mark Meadows, according to sources both news outlets cite.

READ MORE: Secret Service Agents Confirm Details Hutchinson Shared About Trump Demanding to Be Taken to US Capitol Jan. 6

One of the messages that the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack posted at the end of Hutchinson’s testimony read: “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

According to The Guardian, “The redaction was ‘Meadows,’ the sources said.”

READ MORE: Trump Declares Hutchinson ‘Totally Discredited’ as Former Aide Says Someone in His Orbit Tried to Influence Her Testimony

CNN similarly reports: “One of [the] people who may have been trying to influence Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony did so at the behest of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to multiple sources familiar with information gathered by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.”

Citing multiple sources CNN reports “the ‘person’ referred to in the message, which was redacted in the version projected on a screen during the hearing, was Meadows.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi Friday afternoon on MSNBC said there is “no question” that message constitutes “an attempt to intimidate a witness. No question about it,” he stressed.

“When you then add that to the fact that it appears that they provided, her initial attorney to her, Cassidy Hutchinson, you now have a without a doubt, predication to open a federal witness tampering investigation,” Figliuzzi added.

Thursday on Twitter Figliuzzi wrote: “This is witness tampering. Cassidy Hutchinson was the target. They picked the wrong young woman.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.