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Mark Stringer, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Iowa, released the following statement about the Protect Women’s Sports bill:

“This cruel law violates the civil rights of transgender girls and women in our state. We should all agree that it’s important for our schools to value, support, and protect our kids and young people who are transgender.

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But the sad reality is that enacting this law does the opposite. Our legislators and the governor heard from vulnerable Iowa kids and their families, and about how important participation in school sports is to them in living fully as themselves in all aspects of their lives.

Elected officials have ignored their pleas and have instead passed a law that actively marginalizes and isolates these kids. They are scoring political points at the expense of transgender girls who just want to play team sports along with other girls.

Today the State of Iowa bought into unsupported myths about transgender girls and women participating in sports—myths fueled by ignorance and fear. (Please click here for details about myths about transgender girls in sports in Iowa.)

Since our state’s earliest days, we have strived to meet the commitment to protecting and defending the civil rights and liberties of all people. We understood that our differences make us stronger and that everyone deserves equality and fairness under the law.

Passing a discriminatory law to isolate and harm kids just because they are transgender could not be a greater departure from this shared Iowa history. The elected officials responsible for this—the adults—will not be the ones who suffer as a result. The ones who suffer will be the young kids who are doing their best to fit in, and to be the regular Iowa teenagers they are as they find their way through young adulthood. Their lives got harder today.

We can all see that for the government officials celebrating this law, today is just another day.

For these kids and families, however, this may be a matter of life and death.

So to the families, loved ones, and teammates who were so clear and compelling in their public support for the girls this law attacks: thank you. We are with you.

Finally, and most importantly, to the girls whose rights Governor Reynolds just took away, you know more than anyone that today is a hard day. But please also know that people all over the country are behind you, believe in you, and value you for who you are. No law can ever take that away from you.”

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