Iowa Gov. Chet Culver proclaims ‘Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance Day’

Governor Chet Culver proclaims Wednesday January 27 Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance Day. This is the fourth year of Iowa’s GSA Day – and Iowa is the only state in the nation with such an event.

The day, organized by Iowa Pride Network seeks to honor student GSA groups in high schools and colleges that work to end violence and harassment of students including those that are GLBT.

Media is invited to cover Iowa Pride Network’s “GSA Day Kick-Off Party” at Ritual Café in Des Moines. Special Guest Lt. Governor Patty Judge will read the official Iowa GSA Day Proclamation signed by Governor Culver.

GSAs decrease absenteeism, name-calling, harassment and assault. According to the 2007 Iowa School Climate Survey, in schools with GSAs, GLBT students are:

· 25% less likely to be verbally harassed because of their gender
· 23% less likely to skip class
· 23% less likely to be physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation
· 21% more likely to report never having been sexually harassed at school
· 12% less likely to be physically harassed or assaulted because of their gender expression

Iowa Pride Network empowers students to fight homophobia and transphobia in high schools and colleges by supporting GSA clubs and providing leadership opportunities and organizing projects centered on social justice.