Iowa Group Opposes Culver Transgender Proclamation

By Rod Boshart, Reporter

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver delivers his annual condition of the state address before a joint session of the Iowa legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES - A pro-family policy group today is taking issue with a proclamation Gov. Chet Culver signed that declared a “transgender day of remembrance” in Iowa last year.

The Iowa Family Policy Center ACTION released a copy of the proclamation that Culver signed last Nov. 20 which the Pleasant Hill-based group acquired from the governor’s office through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The organization’s president, Chuck Hurley, said he views the proclamation as an attempt by Culver to use the power of the governor’s office “to promote sexual confusion and deviant behavior.”

Hurley said the action follows Culver’s failure to keep his 2006 campaign promise to defend marriage as only between one man and one woman.

While running for office, Culver assured the public of his commitment to protect the legal definition of marriage, but broke that promise by not challenging a unanimous Iowa Supreme Court ruling that struck down a state law last April and made possible same-sex marriages in Iowa, Hurley said.

“Iowans know that Gov. Culver does not share their values,” the Iowa Family Policy Council ACTION leader said. “As if the governor’s unwillingness to exercise the influence of his office in the defense of marriage wasn’t evidence enough, we now know that he is spending his time creating special days celebrating sexual disorientation. The question that Iowans ought to be asking is why Gov. Culver wasn’t proud enough of his work to make his actions public?”

Hurley noted that the governor’s office makes available proclamations on the official web site, but there was no public statement or press release concerning the “Transgender Day of Remembrance” proclamation.

Culver spokesman Troy Price said the governor signs many proclamations that are not accompanied by press releases and that there was nothing out of the ordinary about the say the transgender day proclamation was handled. He noted that the governor’s office responded to the Iowa Family Policy Council’s request to receive a copy of the proclamation.

In declaring Nov. 20, 2009, as transgender day of remembrance in Iowa, the proclamation cites Iowa’s tradition of upholding the dignity of individuals, supporting legal equality and fair treatment of all citizens and ensuring that acts of neglect and violence toward any segment of the population will not be tolerated.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance honors those who have died by homicide, or suicide, by the hand of ignorance and prejudice, while attempting to pursue the American dream and equality,” according to the proclamation.

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