DES MOINES, Iowa — In two votes that went straight down party lines Tuesday, Senate Republicans voted to advance two bills restricting gender-affirming treatment for minors and requiring students to use bathrooms according to biological gender in schools.
“We don’t need potty police, kids just want to pee in peace,” said State Senator Liz Bennett, (D), District 39 from Cedar Rapids.
The restroom bill advanced quickly through the Senate committees in February, passing out of committee during funnel week. The bill saw similar arguments on the floor of the Senate.
“Some girls are showering in bathing suits because some boys are allowed in the locker room. Some students are holding it because they don’t feel comfortable going into a restroom with someone of the opposite gender,” said State Senator Chris Cournoyer, (R), District 35 from LeClaire.
“This bill if enacted will cause kids not to go to the bathroom all day it will cause them to feel outed and harassed and made to feel less then,” said State Senator Claire Celsi, (D), District 16 from West Des Moines.
The gender-affirming treatment bill passed later in the night with another vote down party lines. The bill would block any type of treatment including hormones, puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery. Both bills need to pass the Iowa House to be signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds.