Heartsill’s Anti-Gay Witch Hunt Empowers Bullies, Misleads Educators

progress iowa

For Immediate Release: May 28th, 2015
Contact: Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0530

Des Moines, Iowa — In recent weeks, State Representative Greg Heartsill (R-Chariton) has engaged in a series of attacks and attempts to misinform his fellow legislators, Iowa educators, and his constituents about the Governor’s annual Conference on LGBTQ Youth, as well as the anti-bullying bill under consideration in this year’s legislature.

After claiming not to know what LGBTQ means during a recent floor debate, Heartsill misled his colleagues in the Iowa House during remarks criticizing the Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, repeating false attacks made by Bob Vander Plaats and the Family Leader organization. Using the same false information, Heartsill misled public school superintendents in a letter demanding to know who attended the conference from their schools.

Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic today issued the following statement in response to Heartsill’s mounting attacks on the Governor’s anti-bullying conference and Iowa’s LGBTQ youth:

“Representative Greg Heartsill has recently embarked on a disturbing crusade that will lead to more LGBTQ students being bullied in school. Heartsill has sent a number of communications demanding information about the Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, despite the fact that the event is not funded by taxpayer dollars. He has demanded information from Iowa educators about their level of participation in the event. And he has spread false information, much of it repeated verbatim from Bob Vander Plaats and the Family Leader, who have been attacking the Governor’s Conference for years. Heartsill has focused solely on the Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, and to my knowledge has not attempted to gather similar information about other privately administered events.”

“Heartsill’s singling out the Governors Conference in this manner is an anti-gay witch hunt, plain and simple.”

“Instead of engaging in an anti-gay crusade, Representative Heartsill and the House of Representatives should support the proposal before them to better address bullying in Iowa schools. The legislation passed with bipartisan support by an overwhelming 43-7 margin in the Senate, has the support of Democrats in the Iowa House, as well as Republican governor Terry Branstad.”

“It’s time to stop the distractions and misinformation, and start protecting Iowa students from bullying. Representative Heartsill should end his anti-gay witch hunt immediately.”

Progress Iowa is a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization with a network of more than 60,000 progressives. Year-round, Progress Iowa advocates for a stronger middle class, first-class public education, and fairness for all Iowans under the law.

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About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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