Events


“LGBTQ+ History at Iowa”

Virtual Forum presented on March 15, 2022; click above to view recording

Presented by David McCartney and Aiden Bettine

A century ago, LGBTQ people in Iowa were classified legally as “sexual perverts,” subject to one to ten years in prison for “committing sodomy.” After decades of activism, the social and political landscape in the Hawkeye State moved toward greater freedom for Iowa’s sexual minorities with the University of Iowa often playing a leading role.  For example, Iowa was the first state university to officially recognize a queer student organization, the Gay Liberation Front (in 1970), now known as Queer Liberation Front, and was the first public university in the country to offer insurance benefits to employees’ domestic partners (in 1993). In 2009, Iowa became the first ‘heartland’ state to legally recognize marriage equality. Aiden Bettine and David McCartney recount some historical highlights of LGBTQ life in Iowa City and at the University of Iowa, sharing some of the significant ‘firsts” that transpired in our community and on our campus.