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Damian Thompson, the lobbyist for GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force (Iowa Safe Schools), was elected chair of Central Iowa Young Republicans earlier this week.

Thompson won with the backing of a number of elected Republicans from across the state, despite his advocating against key parts of the GOP platform.

Check out this story about the Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth. It is vulgar. And it is nasty. And it is the epitome of GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force. The article is about a presentation it hosted during its conference by Planned Parenthood. It was an “inclusive sex education” presentation at a conference aimed at middle school and high school students as well as Iowa educators.

Here you can watch a virtual drag queen storytime about “Santa’s Husband.” Santa gets married to another man and everyone shows up for the wedding — including Jesus, according to the book.

Way back in 2012 Bob Vander Plaats was lobbying former Gov. Terry Branstad to remove the governor’s title from the conference. Branstad, though, refused. In fact, he had someone go to the conference to speak on his behalf and read his proclamation that Sept. 1 would be “Safe Schools Day.” Branstad sent a letter of support to the event, extending his “very best wishes for a successful conference this year and in future years.”

In 2015 the conference was so atrocious it prompted an investigation by the state legislature. That investigation included Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, who is one of the state legislators today endorsing Thompson for the Central Iowa Young Republican chairman position.

Here are some disturbing details from that conference and the ensuing investigation:

*One father said his daughter was “absolutely distraught” by what she witnessed and left the conference early in shock. Rather than learning how to bring unity to her school, she was subjected to “basically a sexual education class for same-sex couples. It was crude,” he said.

*Another presentation discussed medical transition options available for transgender youth, and how to utilize private insurance and government programs to pay for various procedures. Students were advised on the types of transgender accessories are available to make it appear they have certain body parts they do not really have, or items to hide certain body parts they do have. Students were given tips on what kind of binders to use or not use and how to obtain them without paying for them. Puberty blockers were another topic. Discussion was had on how that hormone treatment is ‘safe and effective.’

*A drag performance at the close of the conference also drew ire. Coco used words like sh-t and f-ckin’ frequently. Coco also encouraged students to slash the tires of someone if they have a bumper sticker that shows support for one-man, one-woman marriage.

*One teacher who attended the conference with her students said “the conference went way beyond the subject of anti-bullying. With all the profanity, obscenities, and shock valley that were used during presentations, the conference did not serve its intended purpose. There was no educational value to this conference.”

In November of 2019, GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force was responsible for flying the transgender pride flag above the Iowa Capitol. That was against Capitol ground rules and made Iowa the first state in the nation to fly the transgender pride flag at its Capitol.

There was a lot of confusion about how that whole incident happened, but sources told The Iowa Standard they believed that GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force policy director Damian Thompson, who used to work in the Governor’s office for Kim Reynolds, sought permission to fly the flag at the Capitol and Capitol staff mistakenly thought he either still worked for Gov. Reynolds or her office approved it.

*Then, in March of 2020, GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force caused a scene at the Capitol during their day on the Hill. Students were using the wrong bathroom and asked by State Troopers at the Capitol to use specific bathrooms.

Eventually, the group was escorted out of the Capitol.

In the aftermath, GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force was calling for the State Troopers to be fired and hinting at possible litigation.

A few days later the COVID pandemic caused the legislative session to pause, and this story quickly died down.

In the spring of 2020, GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force denied two individuals who purchased tickets for the conference. The group cited the customers’ affiliations with Christian groups.

That is who GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force is. And Thompson is the group’s lobbyist. He spoke out against a bill that would force bathrooms in Iowa schools to be used based on an individual’s biological sex. He registered against a bill that would protect women’s sports in Iowa by making sure athletes participated on teams based on their biological sex.

Thompson registered in support of a bill that would require the Department of Education to include history, contributions and perspectives of LGBTQ individuals into Iowa Core standards. The bill also provides a requirement to include instruction inclusive of LGBTQ “health practices” for students enrolled in grades 1-12.

Thompson was registered against a bill aimed at banning the use of Critical Race Theory and other divisive concepts from diversity trainings and K-12 curriculum. He registered against a bill to bolster Iowans’ religious liberty. He registered against a bill that would have required a school district to notify a parent or guardian if the student asked to be identified by a different pronoun. Registered against the school choice, education omnibus bill. Registered against a bill making it unlawful for a medical professional to perform interventions or surgical procedures on a minor to appear more like a person of the opposite sex or conform to a gender identity incongruent with the minor’s sex.

Despite all of that, Thompson received plenty of support from legislative Republicans and their staff:


Author: Jacob Hall


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