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In one of the biggest disappointments of the legislative session so far, Iowa Republicans failed to move a bill that would require individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex inside Iowa schools.

The bill, introduced by State Sen. Jim Carlin, advanced through a Senate subcommittee but did not advance through the Senate Education Committee.

Senate File 224 was opposed by the following organizations:

*Lutheran Services in IA, Inc.
*Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce
*Iowa Chamber Alliance
*Iowa Mental Health Planning Council
*Iowa Public Health Association
*Technology Association of Iowa
*ACLU
*Greater Des Moines Partnership
*National Association of Social Workers
*Principal Financial
*Iowa Federation of Labor
*The Hale Group
*Iowa Conference of United Methodist Church
*Rural School Advocates of Iowa
*AFSCME Iowa Council 61
*Common Good Iowa
*Episcopal Diocese of Iowa
*Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa
*Urban Education Network of Iowa
*School Administrators of Iowa
*Human Rights Campaign
*Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault
*Iowa Association of School Boards
*Iowa State Education Association
*Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund
*Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
*One Iowa
*GLBT Youth in Iowa Schools Task Force (Iowa “Safe” Schools)

Here are the groups who registered in favor:

*Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition
*Concerned Women for America of Iowa
*The FAMiLY Leader

That’s it. Three.

I’ve talked with Republicans of all stripes about this issue in public gatherings. Hardcore conservatives and moderate establishment types all agree — there is no reason a bill like this shouldn’t be able to advance through a GOP-controlled legislature.

Yet here we are. Eight-year-old little girls are expected to share a bathroom with a 40-year-old man who thinks he is a woman in Iowa’s schools.

And if you don’t accept it, you’re a bigot. If you question it, you’re transphobic.

Yet in these same schools, we expect our kids to learn about biology.

Republican Senators Jim Carlin and Jeff Taylor did their job. They represented their constituency and their party’s platform principles. They passed the bill out of subcommittee.

But it didn’t receive nearly enough vocal support from other Republicans in the Iowa legislature. In fact, some legislators adopted the language of the Left while discussing the bill.

Republican Rep. Dustin Hite, who chairs the House Education Committee, said he has no plans to give the bathroom bill — or ones like it — a hearing in the House. It was strange that Hite was asked about this topic since the bill was in the Senate, but his quick dismissal of it in the House likely damaged any chance it had of passing the Iowa Senate.

“The reason I haven’t assigned them a subcommittee is not because I don’t understand the issues of the proponents of those bills, but I also understand the issues on the other sides of those bills,” Hite told Iowa Press. “And I think when we talk about topics like this, we have to be extremely careful that what we are doing does not come across as hateful. And that is what I’m always concerned about in these particular issues.”

There is nothing hateful about holding to the idea that bathroom usage should be determined based on biological sex. Nothing.

That is not a hateful statement. It is not a hateful bill. We cannot keep retreating on this issue.

The reality is regardless of how someone says it, there is a certain segment of the population that will cast anyone who concludes bathrooms should be used based on biological sex as a “hateful” person. I have seen it firsthand.

Supporters of the bill do not hate transgender people. Far from it. But supporters of the bill don’t believe it is appropriate to have biological men using the same restroom as biological women. The sexes have been separated for centuries for a reason.

That reason hasn’t been hatred, it’s been common sense. 

Hite said bills like these would probably not happen any time soon, “if ever, this session.”

Hite drew praised from GLBT Youth in Iowa Schools Task Force for his statements.

There is a valid concern in regards to the legality of such a law due to sexual orientation and gender identity being included in the Iowa Civil Rights Act. But if that is a concern, why is there no effort to remove that from the Civil Rights Act? While we’re at it, perhaps taking a look at the entire Civil Rights Act and the idea of “protected classes” is in order.

Ten years ago few, if any, Republican legislators would’ve predicted they would have to hold a serious debate on this issue today. That doing so would make them appear “hateful” or “bigoted” or “transphobic.”

None of them would’ve imagined 10 years ago they’d have to discuss this.

Yet here we are.

And the question every Republican legislator must ask themselves is this…

What issue will Republican legislators in Iowa be debating 10 years from now that we can’t imagine today due to their inaction on this issue?

Because this is not the end of the debate. Things only worsen over time. The perversion will only continue to advance if it is not stopped now.

Leadership does just that — leads. Republican leadership in the state of Iowa owes it to Iowa moms and dads, boys and girls, to restore order when it comes to using the restroom in Iowa schools.

As one reader of The Iowa Standard pointed out, it “seems weird that we would even need a law for this.”

Considering we’ve had total Republican control in our state for five years now, it does seem weird we need a law for this.

Weird and tragic.

Let’s hope the GOP regroups on this issue and addresses it in 2022.

Republican members of the Iowa Senate Education Committee, where the bill died, include:

Sen. Jeff Taylor (voted yes in subcommittee)
Sen. Jim Carlin (voted yes in subcommittee)
Sen. Amy Sinclair, chair of the committee
Sen. Chris Cournoyer
Sen. Tim Goodwin
Sen. Craig Johnson
Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink
Sen. Ken Rozenboom
Sen. Annette Sweeney
Sen. Brad Zaun

Keep in mind the bill was not publicly voted on. And, with Republican House leadership saying the bill was all but dead in their chamber, it offered the Senate little reason to take the arrows that come with moving it through the process only for it to be killed by the House.

So, while these are the Republicans on the Iowa Senate Education Committee, it doesn’t mean they all oppose it. With 15 senators on the committee, including 10 Republicans, it would mean only two members of the GOP could oppose it.

We have sent an email to each member on the committee asking if they would be willing to let us know their position on the bill. We’ll update the story if we receive any responses.

Author: Jacob Hall