Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Iowa House Investigation into Governor's Conference on LGBTQ Youth Postponed -- Because of Fall Harvesting

There is annual anti-bullying and -homelessness conference that happens in Des Moines, Iowa, called the Governor's Conference on LGBTQ Youth. Keep in mind that it has nothing to do with the governor -- certainly not our current governor. It receives no state funding and it is planned and organized by Iowa Safe Schools. But it is well attended by interested students, as well as educators and others who decide to attend.

The conference has received more and more attention in recent years -- largely from social and political conservatives who are looking at ways to shut down the conference. A group of attendees from the most recent conference reported all sorts of controversial goings-on, including explicit safer-sex discussions that allegedly discussed bondage and orgies. There was a drag speaker who reportedly promoted vandalism. Those were the biggies.

Iowa Safe Schools denies these allegations, by the way. These reports were "twisted and manipulated" to create a conservative political response.

Which they got. State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R) of Wilton, IA, is the chairman of the government overnight committee and he scheduled a hearing for tomorrow that will "investigate reports of explicit materials at the event, which... tax dollars help fund, and to offer recommendations to the event's organizers."

We just learned that the hearing into the Governor's Conference on LGBTQ Youth has now been postponed -- because of harvest. It apparently slipped Rep Kaufmann's mind that he runs a farm and that he needs to work on it while also maintaining leadership roles within state government. He also found out that "several groups and individuals who hoped to attend" couldn't make it this week.

Kaufmann clarified that there's no truth to the theory that he wants to shut down the conference. He just wants to "stop the spread of explicit information" at future events.

The hearing has not yet been rescheduled, but probably will happen next month.

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