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I’ll be honest, it was a tough week at the State Capitol. For lots of Iowans and for me, too.

The GOP leaders of the House and Senate decided to push through a host of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced this year to send to the Governor.  Some of the bills they approved included a new book ban, taking away the ability of parents to make healthcare decisions for their own kids, and censoring any talk of LGBTQ+ families in public school through sixth grade.

There aren’t many bills we do that impact Iowans on such a deeply personal level, which is a big reason why it was tough on so many.  And it was certainly apparent this week at the State Capitol.

Taken together, the unmistakable message many Iowans in the LGBTQ+ community received this week from their state legislature and Governor was a negative one – one that took a subset of Iowans and said, you’re not welcome here. You don’t belong. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Leading up to debate this week, there were a lot of uncomfortable, difficult conversations at the State Capitol that left a lot of folks frustrated and disappointed. Taken together, it’s clear these bills were based on two things: fear and politics.

Some GOP lawmakers I talked to didn’t want these bills to come up or even to vote for them. But they said they didn’t really have a choice because there was so much political pressure.  We heard that they would get primaried in their district if they didn’t vote for it and they didn’t want to get on the wrong side of the Governor or the special interests pushing so hard for it.

I heard a similar theme when talking to business and community leaders about speaking up against these divisive bills. There was a recognition that these bills make Iowa look unwelcoming and they felt bad that some of their employees were being targeted. But they feared retribution from the Governor who has made it clear to all at the State Capitol that she will only talk to or work with those who agree with her 100% of the time.

For me, those conversations proved again just how broken our political system is right now.  For an issue that is so personal to so many Iowans, the calculation made by most of the leaders at the State Capitol came down to politics over what they knew was right.

To be clear, there was bipartisan opposition to several of the bills. Some of my GOP colleagues pointed out the irony of calling for ‘parent choice’ so much this session but taking away the ability of parents to make healthcare decisions for their own kids. Others saw right through the heated politics of the moment and stood up for the kids being targeted by these harmful bills.

To my GOP colleagues who took a stand last week, thank you.

To the community leaders speaking up to protect your fellow Iowans, I appreciate you.

To the business leaders who know these bills make Iowa look unwelcoming but remain silent, it’s time for you to speak out.

To the politicians who co-sponsored the 32 anti-lgbtq bills this session, quit playing politics and start focusing on people again.

To all those in the LGBTQ+ community feeling marginalized and targeted, I see you and hear you and will keep fighting for you.

To the families who are thinking of leaving Iowa, I don’t blame you but know there are folks here in Iowa who will always have your back.

To every Iowa kid out there just trying to figure out who they are, you are not alone and you are loved just how you are.


  1. Shy on specifics. Which bills exactly, and who are the elected officials that felt pressured? What books are being banned and are they really banned or not age appropriate in certain libraries?

  2. Dear Representative Konfrst, we will agree that this is not a Party thing. However what I see is pushback against Federal Government overreach into Iowas jurisdiction. These items you are concerned about would of never been discussed in State Chambers if the Federal Government would keep out of Iowas jurisdiction. Being “told “ what to accept, how to think, and your wrong if you disagree isn’t the Federal Government’s responsibility. Each and every individual has the God given right to discernment of simple things. Such as morality, liberty, affiliation, employment, and who they want to represent them! To make this an issue has a beginning! And the beginning was Federal Government overreach. I refuse to be told how to think! Who to accept and who to shun! No law or mandate can govern my emotions, faith, responsibilities, duties, or any other inalienable rights! Respectfully I am “ Free “ to perpetuate whom I accept and whom I do not! If I disagree with others then that makes me a Free American! These subjects should “ never “ be issues that require legislation on any level! A person has choices, make them and bare the consequences with humility and respect! For I will never surrender my individuality to legislation! With the utmost respect get on with fighting the Federal Governments overreach so all can live without being “ told “ how to do so! That is totalitarian in the simplest form!!! Respectfully yours Quincy Droigk


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