Bill to strip transgender Iowans of rights dead on arrival

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Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. (Image by David Mark from Pixabay)

DES MOINES — A bill that would have removed transgender people from the state’s civil rights law was stopped before it even got to a subcommittee.

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that State Rep. Steven Holt, Repubilican chairman of the state House Judiciary Committee, would not allow the bill to move forward.

“It’s dead,” Holt told the AP. “It just would have had a lot of unintended consequences.”

The bill, HF 2164, was released just the day before. It had been condemned by LGBTQ rights groups immediately.

The AP said that gender identity was added by lawmakers in 2007 when Democrats regained control of the Iowa legislature and held the governor’s office with the election of Gov. Chet Culver.

Only the anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ organization The Family Leader had signaled support for the bill. The AP reported that the state public employee union had opposed it with several other groups.

The bill had been sponsored by state reps ean Fisher, Anne Osmundson, Terry Baxter, Tedd Gassman, Thomas Gerhold, Phil Thompson, Tom Jeneary, Skyler Wheeler, and Sandy Salmon.

According to the AP, Fisher had sponsored the bill to address a “whole host of issues” that don’t seem to exist in Iowa. Those issues include transgender women being transferred to women’s prisons and transgender women participating in women’s sports. He was also reportedly worried about a court decision last year that would have required Iowa Medicaid to cover transition-related healthcare. The state then passed a law that explicitly said Medicaid would not cover transition. That law is still being challenged in the courts, the AP said.

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