Dozens of LGBTQ rights supporters gathered at Vander Veer Park, Davenport, on Saturday morning to protest a bill on the desk of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Organizers told our Local 4 News crew they were very pleased with the turnout, especially given the chilly temperatures.
The focus of this rally was on transgender health care, especially for younger people. A bill is now on Reynolds desk that would prevent gender-affirming surgeries and treatment to people younger than 18. The bill passed along party lines.
“Our legislators are not having our back right now,” said rally leader Mary Francis. Francis pointed to several of her issues with lawmakers. “They tried to equality marriage take away that, gay marriage, take away transitioning for humans at any age as well, so yes, right now LGBTQ especially trans youth are the topic.”
Illinois House Rep. Gregg Johnson spoke to the group. He encouraged them to rally and give their speeches and he also promised to help them recruit and support pro-LGBTQ candidates.
Francis encouraged people to educate themselves, saying “I feel like a lot of people come for the LGBTQ community because of lack of education. I say talk to a transgender person, talk to somebody in the LGTBQ community. It’s just all about educating yourself and knowing that this is not a choice this is nothing we choose.”