Branstad led LGBT inclusive DMU

One Iowa delivered the following letter to former governor Terry Branstad today. The letter asks Gov. Branstad to clarify the disparity in his position on LGBT issues now and when he was president at Des Moines University. Read a related story from The Iowa Independent.

Dear Gov. Branstad:

During your time as president of Des Moines University, I was impressed and proud of DMU’s commitment to LGBT inclusion. Through the Diversity Services Department, DMU has long been at the forefront of recognizing and respecting our community.

Despite our positive history, in recent months, you’ve made comments disparaging the recently –acquired marriage equality of LGBT Iowans. Attached are two documents I’m hoping will remind you of the mutual respect and great relationship we had under your leadership at DMU, and offer a bridge to your future endeavors.

The first document is a copy of DMU’s February 2009 newsletter promoting a joint DMU/One Iowa lobby day. Held almost four months before the historic Varnum v. Brien decision, the purpose was to lobby legislators for marriage equality.

Also mentioned in the newsletter is a lecture given by Dr. Christine McGinn. Dr. McGinn is a well-respected plastic surgeon and transgender woman. The second document attached is a press release about the lecture sponsored by Des Moines University Educational Support Services, Diversity Services, Student Services, the faculty development office and several student groups. Dr. McGinn’s lecture was a perfect opportunity for DMU students to learn about how gender identity issues could affect their prospective patients.

Although you have repeatedly stated your opposition to marriage equality and supported a constitutional amendment to strip LGBT Iowans of their rights, I am hoping by reminding you of your progressive leadership at DMU, you will clarify your position and what role you played in the positive, inclusive policies and programs at Des Moines University.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Jenison
Executive Director
One Iowa