Iowa GOP lawmaker: Flying transgender flag over capitol is 'Rainbow Jihad'

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Republican Skyler Wheeler called the Transgender Day of Remembrance tribute 'one of the most egregious acts of political aggression I've ever seen.'

An Iowa state legislator accused those commemorating last week's Transgender Day of Remembrance of "political aggression" after a transgender flag was flown above the Iowa capitol.

Last Wednesday, a transgender flag was flown for a few minutes above the building at the request of Iowa Safe Schools. The group said they followed the normal procedures and were doing so to commemorate Iowans who had been murdered for their gender identity.

State Rep. Skyler Wheeler (R), an anti-LGBTQ backer of "biblical marriage," was outraged that this happened and that no one had alerted him in advance.

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In an interview Saturday with a conservative Iowa political site, Wheeler said, "Nothing was sent to my legislative email, no phone call, absolutely nothing. It's another way that the Rainbow Jihad continues to give those of us who don't agree with them a finger in the eye and push their beliefs on us."

He suggested that in the future it should not be permitted, likening not murdering transgender people with a state endorsement of religion.

"Flags flown at our state Capitol should not be flags that fuel division among Iowans," he said. "How would the Rainbow Jihad react if we were trying to fly the Christian flag over the state Capitol? The Rainbow Jihad is not OK with simply living their lives. They are so hellbent on pushing their beliefs on us that they would go so far as to fly that flag over the state Capitol. It's one of the most egregious acts of political aggression I've ever seen."

Wheeler did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether he stands by his comments and what he means by "Rainbow Jihad."

Earlier this year, he voted for legislation that prohibited transgender Iowans from having their transition care covered under Medicaid. In 2017, he urged constituents not to attend pride celebrations, calling them "events that promote sin."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.