Damian Thompson, the lobbyist for GLBT Youth In Iowa Schools Task Force (Iowa Safe Schools) and chair of the Central Iowa Young Republicans group, told Iowa Starting Line he doesn’t believe there is much “broad support” for GOP efforts to remove sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) from the Iowa Civil Rights Code.
Efforts to remove SOGI from the Iowa Civil Rights Code have only gained momentum. Issues have popped up across the state — a biological female going topless at the Pella Aquatic Center, a biological man using the female facilities in Sioux Center, students using the wrong restroom in Iowa schools based on biology, lessons on preferred pronouns in Iowa schools, a court’s ruling that Iowa tax dollars must be used for sex-change surgeries and a national push to “de-stigmatize” pedophilia by referring to pedophiles as “minor-attracted persons” (MAPS). This effort is hoping to have pedophilia (minor-attraction) recognized as — you guessed it — a sexual orientation.
Iowa is just one of 22 states with SOGI protections in the Civil Rights Code. Utah is the only other state of the 22 to have support President Donald J. Trump.
Iowa is in the company of liberal states such as California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Hawaii — pretty much all of the northeast. This despite Republicans controlling state government for five straight years.
Thompson, who used to work for Gov. Kim Reynolds and Congressman David Young, said in his conversations with legislators as well as lobbyists there is not much support for such action.
“It’s a pretty serious distinction to remove an entire protected class out of something like the civil rights act,” he reportedly said. “That’s a pretty big move.”
Thompson said even having the conversation on removing SOGI from the Civil Rights Code could have negative impacts on LGBTQ Iowans.
Thompson previously said that in private conversations with GOP lawmakers, there is a “surprisingly a decent amount of moderate Republican friends.”
“I wouldn’t say super-strong allies, but there’s a couple of them. A lot of them are just like we don’t want to have a voting record on this,” he said. “Like, this is just not helpful for my re-election efforts and fundraising efforts. Which, at the very least, we’ll take that.”
Feel free to contact your state legislators to see if they support removing SOGI protections from the Iowa Civil Rights Code.
Representative Dean Fisher has led the charge on removing SOGI from the Civil Rights Code. This last session, Fisher’s bill would have only removed gender identity. It was cosponsored by Representatives Skyler Wheeler, Mark Cisneros and Sandy Salmon.
It is unknown if legislators will attempt removing both sexual orientation and gender identity or just gender identity.