Twelve Iowa House Republicans have signed onto House File 190, a bill to remove gender identity as a protected class from the Iowa Civil Rights Code. It would also define sex as a person’s biological sex as either male or female.
The issue has popped up across Iowa schools and other public spaces like the Pella Aquatic Center, where a biological teen girl was allowed to go topless because she identifies as a boy.
According to LGBTmap.org, 23 states plus Washington D.C. have state laws that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Iowa and Utah are the only two “red states” on that list. Other states include California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Hawaii.
Republican Rep. Dean Fisher sponsored the bill. The following representatives are cosponsors:
Rep. Helena Hayes
Rep. Mark Thompson
Rep. Cindy Golding
Rep. Zach Dieken
Rep. Bob Henderson
Rep. Ken Carlson
Rep. Luana Stoltenberg
Rep. Skyler Wheler
Rep. Tom Gerhold
Rep. Brad Sherman
Rep. Jeff Shipley
Eight of those 11 cosponsors are freshmen in the Iowa House. Just Fisher, Wheeler, Shipley and Gerhold are the returning members who cosponsored the legislation.
Gender identity being a protected class has also been used in lawsuits to force taxpayers to pay for sex-change surgeries. It is also difficult to envision how Iowa can effectively ban gender-affirmation treatment and surgeries on minors if gender identity is a protected class.