Letter from local faith leaders: Anti-LGBTQ legislation puts Iowans in danger

A child watches the Iowa City Pride Parade, June 18, 2022. — Adria Carpenter/Little Village
Submitted by David Borger Germann, Executive Pastor, Sanctuary Community Church

Over the last seven weeks of the Iowa legislative session, numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced. Bills restricting teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity as well as acknowledgement of gender identity without a parent’s permission are finding their way through our legislative processes. Legislation is also being considered to restrict gender-affirming medical care for transgender teens.

As people of faith, we stand with all LGBTQ+ Iowans, and we stand against any laws that limit a person’s full human expression and dignity. We claim again that all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are loved by God.

Study after study reminds us that LGBTQ+ children and youth are more likely to consider or attempt suicide and more likely to struggle with anxiety and depression when they are not in supportive environments. The state of Iowa is becoming less safe and less supportive for LGBTQ+ youth as a result of these legislative efforts.

Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz of Agudas Achim Congregation in Coralville, supporting Iowa City students during the walkout to protest anti-LGBTQ legislation, March 1, 2023. — Sid Peterson/Little Village

And it is not only young people who are being impacted. Almost 14 years ago Iowa took a then uncommon step to legalize same-gender marriage. In the years since, many LGBTQ+ people have confidently made their homes in Iowa feeling safe and protected. And yet with each anti-LGBTQ+ piece of legislation that is introduced, people become more fearful of the rights they could lose — rights to housing, employment, marriage, parenting, healthcare, and safety.

We encourage people of faith to contact your legislators, speak openly about your support for all LGBTQ+ Iowans, and continue to stand up for rights for all.


Rev. Tammy Buseman
Rev. Anna Blaedel
Deanna Long
Rev. Jill Cameron Michel
Joel Gilbertson, Interfaith Chaplain
Rev. Gary Sneller
Malinda Thomas
Carrie Hendricks
Rev. Anita Johnson
Rev. Laura Hudson Kittrell
Vanessa Renaud
Pastor Adey Wassink
Cathy Fuller
John O. Barr
Charlie Eastham
Rev. Dr. Jan Rippentrop Schnell
Suzanne Krogh
Susan McCracken
Evalee Mickey
Brenda Mayer
Pastor Ryan Downing
Pastor David Borger Germann
Cecilia Norris MD
Rev. Mary Kay Kusner
David Fitzgerald
Christine Grothe
Donita Hermsen
Rev. Dr. Dorothy Whiston
Geri Pettitt
Jan Ricklefs
Rev. Mark W. Martin
Bonnie Murphy
John Powell
Katie Imborek
Mark Pries
Dan Daly
Jane John
Laura Locher
Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz
The Rev. Jane Stewart
Wendy Levy
Rachael Hills
Robert & Diane DeWitt
Jennifer Lee
Alexandra Geraets
Dr. Janis Swenson Taylor
Gay Mikelson
Patricia Benson
Rev. Marsha Acord
April Gimenez
The Rev. Dr. Bruce W. Fischer
Roland Peterman
Donna Williams
Susan Nix
Helene Hembreiker
Marge Reid
Sarah Varner
Marsha A. Lowe
Michael Neville
Bob Bogs Jr
Lisa LaRosa
Pastor Marian Hart
Rev. Kara Seaton
John McKinstry
Lorene E. Wunder, PC(USA) Pastor
Rev. Diana Smith
Valerie Wetlaufer
Corvin Greene
Dr. Wendy Schuchart
Chuck Hauck
Evelia Hauck
Pastor Nathan Willard
Adria Jones
Anne Wilmoth
Rev. Cn. Meg Wagner
Melinda Padley-Jones
Lillian Talley
Carol Ttx
Jon Trouten
Carole Frazee
Janelle Hansen
Danica Baker
Marlene Neville
julie overkamp
Ariel Levin
Sue Weinberg
Mary Beth Versgrove
Ashley Sowerby
Lisa Carstensen
Erin Casey
Tim Clark
Rev. Janice Kemp
Rev. Douglas Kollasch, ULC
Rev. Dr. Sarah Rohret, St Marks UMC
Tracy Koivisto
Jay Thomas
Krista Kronstein
Pam Ries
Lora Morgan Dunham
Tara Clark
Jane Dohrmann
Rev. Dr. Jared S. Trullinger
Vernon K. Duba
Sara Riggs
Cathy Willoughby
Carol Mertens
Paul Bly
Suzanne Krogh
Tim Fees
Mary Schwartz
Lynn Calvert
Nancy Ream
Rev. Emily Steeples
Traci Massman
Rev. Linda Hunsaker
Matthew Healy
Rachel Bogs
Rev. Karen Martens Zimmerly
Finnegan R. Meadows
Linda Kinkade
Maggie Keyser
Deacon Pamela Larabee-Zierath
Jeffrey Allen Mead
Donald D. Anderson, PhD
Terry Dahms
Lisa Schumacher
Beth Smith
Sara Klosterboer
Rev. Brian Brandsmeier
Isaac Hooley
June Hershberger
Jill Meadows, MD
Catherine Goedken
Glenda Sickles
Malinda Thomas
David Sickles
Patricia Miller
Julie Fitzpatrick
Joy Ward
Rev. Ruth Johnston
Lindsey Schluckebier
Jon Feaver
LeAnn Farley
Mary C Curtis
Mary Hendrickson
Rhonda Miller
Ann Satterly
John Moetken
Sharon Sass
Kenneth Gingerich
Jerry Lippert
Marcia Lippert
Shirley Green
Tim Krabill
Stephen Dunham
Karen Stenson
Stanley Stenson
Carol J Miller
Virginia Ibrahim-Olin
Gloria Hartley
Craig Jones
Robert K. Clark
Lois Yoder
Margalea Warner
James F Lang
Beverly E. Mead
Laurie Dahms
Laurie Aude
Douglas W. Jones
Kathryn Kinsella
Katelyn Joyal
Susan Groff-VanArendonk
Erin Barnes
Kathleen Jacobs
Beverly Boyers
Rachelle Tsachor
Matthew Yoder, LMSW
Ann Grosscup
Teresa Weiner
Linda K Kerber
Libby Conley
Melanie Nollsch
Rev. Jonathan Heifner
Beth Pelton
Kathryn Hogg
Brigid Martin
Sally Strah
Debra Bailey-Murray
Christine Wagner-Hecht