Iowa Representative Bobby Kaufmann does not approve of gay people, and he certainly does not approve of state funds being used to transport LGBT children to The Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth, a gathering in which educators, students and parents work together to fight suicide and bullying throughout Iowa's schools.
In fact, Rep. Kaufmann has scheduled a hearing to investigate the event, claiming that children were apparently taught "obscene material".
What “obscene material” is Kaufmann describing? A breakout session at which social justice advocate Sam Killermann and adolescent sexuality expert Dr. Karen Rayne discussed sexual health. In 2015, extremist anti-gay fringe group the FAMiLY LEADER sent an undercover operative to monitor the session and reported that, during the Q&A, Rayne actually answered students’ questions about sex. Her session is hardly the focus on the conference. But Kaufmann has seized upon it as a justification to investigate and possibly terminate the conference, now in its 11th year. (Students who attended vigorously deny Kaufmann’s claims.)
This isn’t the first time Iowa Republicans have targeted the Governor’s Conference. In 2013, 16 Iowa Republicans threatened to defund a community college because it donated $1,000 to the event.
“We cannot in good conscience vote to give taxpayer dollars to people or groups who pervert the Bible [and] teach our youth to engage in dangerous behavior,” the legislators wrote.
Apparently, students actively working to better the lives of their peers constitutes "dangerous behavior" now.