Des Moines, Iowa — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for signing Senate File 482 into law. This bill bans trans students and school personnel from using school restrooms that match their gender identity.
Human Rights State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley issued the following statement today:
“Governor Reynolds has not relented in her all-out war against transgender Iowans. By signing this bill into law on the heels of a dangerous ban on gender-affirming care, the Governor continues to jeopardize the health and wellbeing of all transgender youth across the state – while normalizing discrimination and hateful rhetoric. Transgender kids deserve the right to use the school restroom consistent with their gender identity. They deserve the right to be treated like human beings who deserve dignity and respect. Yet, Iowa lawmakers would rather use their political power to terrorize transgender kids in school than pass legislation that actually betters the lives of anyone.”
Across the country, anti-equality politicians are working to pass bills to discriminate against and disrupt the lives of transgender people. Since the reviled HB2 was passed, and subsequently partially-repealed, in North Carolina, only three states – Tennessee, Alabama, and Oklahoma – have passed legislation mandating anti-transgender discrimination in bathrooms. Idaho has faced multiple lawsuits in recent years over anti-transgender legislation related to sports and identity documents.
While “bathroom bills'' were very popular in 2016, the international condemnation heaped upon HB2 dissuaded many other states from advancing their own legislation. The Associated Press projected that HB2 passed in 2016 could have cost North Carolina $3.76 billion over 10 years from loss of business opportunities and impact the lives of countless students. Furthermore, legislation attacking transgender refuses to serve the major interests and needs of communities and families, who now pay the price as the consequences of failed leadership across the state. Transgender youth are denied their right to a public education when they’re preventing from accessing restroom facilities consistent with their gender identity, and “bathroom bills” are a violation of both Title IX and the U.S. Constitution.
So far in 2023, HRC is tracking more than 420 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. Approximately 180 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
This year, HRC is tracking:
More than 100 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; five have already become law, in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa and Georgia.
More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year,
More than 80 curriculum censorship bills and 35 anti-drag performance bills.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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