DES MOINES, Iowa – Several LGBTQ student organizations are reacting after Governor Kim Reynolds announced that the state legislature was working on a proposal to ban transgender youth’s participation in Sports.
“We’re really just frustrated that the governor has decided to really take a stand that the idea of Iowa nice doesn’t apply to transgender children,” said Becky Ritland, the Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools.
The legislation would restrict trans youth from participating in girls’ sports, but they could still join the male-dominant league.
“There are a number of different medical research articles out there that say that testosterone really has no impact on an individual’s ability to play or perform at a certain level,” said Ritland.
In this legislative session, lawmakers introduced 15 bills that advocates claim targeted LGBTQ youth none of the bills passed; however, this latest proposal could likely be attached to a separate bill with the session drawing to a close.
“We know the session isn’t over until it’s over, but we do know that when we do things in the back room,” said Courtney Reyes, the Executive Director of One Iowa.
“It makes it really hard and takes away that process that our state really thrives on of being able to debate bills, and that’s what makes our state so great is we have the opportunity as citizens to be able to go up to the statehouse, and that’s the people’s house, and to really be able to discuss these bills.”
LGBTQ advocates also say if the governor signs this bill, it will send a negative message to trans youth.
“We see that students are getting that message that they don’t have a safe place here in the state,” said Ritland.
It is not clear if the law would pass through this legislative session. The Communications Director for the Iowa House Republicans released this statement.
“The Iowa House has been working on legislation to address this issue. Whether it moves before the end of the session remains to be seen.”