Grassley criticizes USDA using pressure to remove LGBTQ-friendly 4-H policy

DES MOINES — Chuck Grassley, the senior U.S. Senator from Iowa, told the Des Moines Register that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was wrong to pressure 4-H to rescind an LGBTQ-supportive policy.

From the Des Moines Register:

“Common sense tells me that that for 100 years … 4-H has been operating as a very competent organization and I don’t know of any federal interference in the past,” he said. “So why would you have it in this particular case?”

Acknowledging he wasn’t aware of “the control that USDA has over the 4-H,” he said he believes that the group “should be relatively free of government control.”

4-H is a congressionally authorized youth program that is subsidizedthrough a combination of federal, state and local funds. Private donors work with state-level 4-H Foundation groups to support the program’s more than 6 million members.

The Register on Sunday broke the news that the federal department had pressured the organization to remove a new LGBTQ-welcoming policy after objections by conservatives. The removal of the policy lead to the firing of Iowa 4-H director John-Paul Chaisson-Cárdenas, an advocate of the LGBT policy. It was also one of many moves the Trump administration has made against the LGBTQ community, despite saying he would be “friendly” to the community.

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