DES MOINES – Yesterday, Iowa House Republicans passed a bill along party lines that would prohibit charts and graphs from being used during debate. Republicans claim the bill was intended to preserve the decorum of the body. It appears, however, at least one Iowa Republican needs a refresher course on decorum and treating his constituents with respect and decency.
Iowa Democratic Party Stonewall Caucus Chair, Devin Kelly issued the following statement today in response to State Rep. Ralph Watts’ use of an anti-gay slur at a Dallas County forum this past weekend :
“At a Dallas County legislative forum on Saturday, state representative Ralph Watts referred to one of his constituents and former opponent by a derogatory term used to denigrate and demean male homosexuals. This inflammatory term has no place in society, let alone a state legislative forum. Rep. Watts owes the entire LGBTQ+ community an apology for his callous and offensive remarks. We cannot allow this type of behavior to become normalized and accepted as commonplace.
“Watts’ duties as an elected official at a forum include listening to his constituents, all of his constituents, explaining his votes and answering questions. We cannot allow Iowa Republicans to get away with using legislative forums as opportunities to humiliate and disrespect their constituents. Once again, we call on State Rep. Ralph Watts to apologize to all of his constituents for conduct unbecoming of an elected official.”