Iowa
The Iowa Democratic Party elected a gay man to head the party. Here’s the press release from IDP:

Today Troy Price was elected the Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party by the Party’s State Central Committee.
“Troy is exactly who we need leading the Party in this critical moment,” said Interim Chair and 1st Vice Chair Andrea Phillips. “He is someone who knows how to navigate tough campaigns and bring folks together. I am incredibly optimistic about the future of our Party with Troy at the helm.”
Troy Price is a longtime Iowa political operative and strategist as well as a vocal LGBT rights advocate. Raised in Durant, Iowa, Troy has held positions in various campaigns and causes around Iowa since graduating from the University of Iowa in 2004.
Troy has worked for Governor Vilsack and Lt. Gov. Pederson, Governor Culver and Lt. Gov. Judge. He headed Iowa’s largest LGBT advocacy group, One Iowa and has worked behind the scenes as political director for President Obama’s Iowa re-election campaign and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. He has also served as the Iowa Democratic Party’s executive director.
“First, I want to thank my fellow candidates for their dedication to the future of our Party. I know this was a tough choice for our State Central Committee members, and I hope Ms. Stauch and Mr. Krause will continue their valuable activism within the Party.” said Mr. Price.
“I am incredibly honored to serve as Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. The road ahead will not be easy. We’re facing opposition at every turn, but I am confident that with the best volunteers, activists and candidates, together, we will win up and down the ticket. Our commitment to protecting good, union jobs, growing our economy, protecting women’s rights, and making health care affordable for every family will never waver. The challenges we face as a party are real, but together we can meet them head on. Let’s get to work”

Radio Iowa looks at Price’s background:

Price started his new job as party chairman immediately. Price, who thanked his husband for being supportive of his decision to seek the party leadership post, is the first openly gay chairman of either of the state’s major political parties.
“The chances that we have seen on LGBTQ rights since I was a high schooler in the late 1990s to where we are today has just been monumental,” Price told reporters early this afternoon. “There’s a lot more work, though, that needs to be done. The Iowa Democratic Party has always stood for that sort of change.”

A religious right gathering was held in Iowa last weekend which predictably brought about some controversial statements, Friendly Atheist notes:

At the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa this past weekend — attended by the likes of Kellyanne Conway and Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst — Pastor Jim Garlow didn’t hesitate to slam marriage equality. Because of all the problems we have in the country, that’s really the priority.

“The bottom line is this,” Garlow said. “If I were Satan, I would want to destroy on the earth the image of God. This is why marriage is such a hotbed issue. It’s more than just the issue of homosexuality. It’s much more than that. It’s much more cosmic. It’s big, it’s enormous. They want to destroy the very image of God upon the planet. This is a demonic happening in our midst.”
Yes, it’s demonic for two people to love each other so much they want to dedicate their lives to each other… if Garlow feels icky about it.

Wisconsin
Sen. Tammy Baldwin took the lead on a bill that would ensure the federal government accurately collects information on LGBTQ Americans in the Census, NBC News reports:

This week Representative Raul Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona, and Senator Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin, reintroduced the LGBT Data Inclusion Act, a bill that would mandate the inclusion of questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on federal surveys, most notably the decennial census.

“The LGBT Data Inclusion Act will ensure that a marginalized population, the LGBT community, is taken into account for the everyday policy decisions our nation’s lawmakers take,” Rep. Grijalva said in a statement.

“The current lack of sound data about sexual orientation and gender identity in many federal surveys means we are ill-prepared to meet the needs of this community. We must develop a credible and confidential understanding of these vulnerable populations we currently know too little about,” he continued.

The Column is a community-supported non-profit news, arts, and media organization. We depend on community support to continue the work of solid LGBT-centric journalism. If you like this article, consider visiting Give MN to make a contribution today.
SHARE
Previous articleDaddy: A Queer Variety Show and Dance Night
Next articleAround the Region: Trump ban on transgender servicemembers garners bipartisan criticism
Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

LEAVE A REPLY