Tuesday’s election brought new anti-LGBT voices to Iowa and Wisconsin. That and other news in this week’s Around the Region.


One Iowa, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, reacted to the election results in that state:

“It’s disappointing to know that Congressman Steve King will continue his disillusioned legacy of hurtful, anti-LGBT rhetoric as the U.S. Representative for Iowa’s 4th District. Time and time again, Rep. King has made misinformed, egregious and outright erroneous comments about the LGBT community while serving in Congress. We hope that in the coming years, Rep. King will make a commitment to listen to what his LGBT constituents have to say regarding the important issue of equality. Rep. King, our community deserves better, and it’s your civic duty as U.S. Congressman to listen, to be thoughtful, but most of all to be inclusive and respectful.”

The group notes, however, that Republicans did not take the Iowa Senate meaning repeal of marriage equality is not likely:

“We are pleased to see that Iowans have retained a fair-minded majority in the Iowa Senate, where we know our allies will work to protect the freedoms and protections of LGBT individuals in our state. In addition, we commend our friends in the Senate who over the years have fought against discriminatory constitutional amendments that, if passed, would strip away marriage from thousands of couples in Iowa and beyond. We commend Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal as he continues to be a stalwart advocate for equality for the LGBT community.”

Students at Iowa State University are working on a project to map out gender neutral bathrooms, the Iowa State Daily reports.

A group of ISU students are mapping out the gender-neutral and handicap accessible restrooms on campus as well as the locations of lactation rooms.
The ISU chapter of One Iowa, an LGBT activist organization, hopes to publish the results with existing maps of Iowa State.

Gender-neutral bathrooms are bathrooms that can be used by people of any gender and gender identity. People in transgender communities across the nation are advocating for gender-neutral bathrooms to help members of the transgender community may use a unisex bathroom without labeling themselves or encountering harassment.

“Once we get a map going then we can formulate more of a plan as to how we are going to present it to the university,” [Anna] Slavina said.

She said there is a lack of knowledge surrounding where gender-neutral restrooms and lactation rooms are, and One Iowa is working toward making people aware that there is a need for the locations to be mapped so those who may need them are aware of where they are located.

Voters in Wisconsin’s 6th elected Glenn Grothman to Congress, PR Watch reports:

America, meet Glenn Grothman, Wisconsin’s newly-elected, weekend-hating Congressman who has a beef with Kwanzaa and his own explanation for the gender pay gap. According to Grothman, “money is more important for men.”

“What we have is the secretary of state going to Africa and educating Ugandans or saying he is going to send American scientists to Uganda to explain how normal homosexuality is,” Grothman said this year. “Think about that. I mean, what must God think of our country?”

North Dakota
North Dakota’s only LGBT elected official, Rep. Joshua Boshee was at North Dakota State University to talk equality last week:

Two years ago, Josh Boschee was elected to the State House of Representatives, making him the first openly gay congressman [sic] in North Dakota’s history.
The North Dakota State alum spoke about how he is fighting for marriage equality and other LGBT concerns Tuesday night in the Equity and Diversity Center in the Alba Bales House.
A ruling will be delivered “anytime” from U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson regarding the validity of the state’s constitutional prohibition of same-sex marriage, Boschee said. Eight same-sex couples filed a suit against it this year.

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