Iowa has often been a leader in the United States for civil justice, but under Republican leadership, Iowa has taken steps backwards regarding civil rights. Governor Reynolds has said that LGBTQ+ issues are a matter of local control, putting the rights of LGBTQ+ Iowans in danger, has underfunded the judicial branch of government, slowing down the justice system, and supported the voter ID law passed in 2017, limiting access to the ballot for minority, young, elderly, and disabled Iowans.
In all of these cases, Nate has consistently fought to protect Iowans’ civil rights. When Iowa Safe Schools, an LGBTQ nonprofit advocacy group was attacked by legislators at the Capitol, Nate volunteered legal services and stood up to defend the organization as an attorney. As Governor, Nate would fight to ban conversion therapy and work to ensure that every child, no matter their sexual orientation, can go to school free from harassment and bullying.
Access to Justice
An attorney who has fought for victims of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, Nate supports the efforts made by Chief Justice Mark Cady to address the inherent biases throughout the justice system in Iowa and would continue to support efforts to reduce racial profiling and sentencing disparities. While Governor Reynolds and the Republicans plan to cut millions of dollars from the judicial branch, resulting in continued understaffing and possible courthouse closures, Nate is dedicated to supporting equal access to justice for all Iowans, no matter where in Iowa they live.
When Republicans passed a voter ID law in 2017 to address the minor voter fraud in Iowa, they limited access to the ballot for minority, young, elderly, and disabled Iowans. Nate spoke out on the Senate floor to oppose this legislation last year, and continues to advocate for its repeal. He also opposes efforts to require local law enforcement officers to comply with the federal immigration detainer requests.
Nate has worked with law enforcement and local leaders to maintain Iowa’s balance of high gun ownership and low gun violence while working to protect victims of gun violence rather than perpetrators. In recent years, Republicans have made an effort to disturb that balance. Especially in light of recent shootings, the legislature must involve law enforcement in efforts to strengthen rather than weaken background checks, make sure officers can hold accountable the perpetrators of gun violence, and invest in mental health care to further decrease the risks of violence in our communities. Passing sensible gun safety reform should be the focus of Iowa’s legislature, rather than expanding access to dangerous weapons and protecting perpetrators.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
In the 2017 legislative session, Nate introduced SF 340 to create equal pay for equal work as a reality, rather than just a policy, to ensure women are valued in the workplace just as much as men. As a lawyer, Nate has defended women who were sexually harassed in the workplace, and in the Senate has co-sponsored legislation to require the perpetrators of sexual harassment and retaliation to repay the state for the damages they cause.
Iowans should be proud of our state’s legacy of advancing civil rights, and we should honor that legacy by continuing to advance the rights of all Iowans.