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Representative Joe Mitchell doubled down on keeping gender identity in the Iowa Civil Rights Code during his debate against Rep. Jeff Shipley in Fairfield. It was essentially the first question the candidates were asked, and Mitchell went first.

Mitchell claimed there had been “a lot of robust discussion” on the issue at the state house, but there has never been a single hearing on the issue because House Republican Rep. Steve Holt has not granted it one in the Judiciary Committee.


“From my conversations with different folks at the statehouse and constitutional scholars and folks that have consulted with people that know a lot more about this issue than I do, I do not believe that taking gender identity out of the Iowa Code would help the problem that we’re talking about,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell went on to say that Holt has “several different ideas” for how to address the issue but doesn’t believe taking gender identity out of the code would be successful.

It should be noted that the issue has been around for years, and just last summer a teenage biological female was allowed to go topless at the local aquatic center due to her gender identity as a boy. And none of the “several different ideas” Mitchell mentioned — without mentioning them specifically — were ever drafted into legislation.

Iowa is one of 22 states that have gender identity and sexual orientation protections in its Civil Rights Code. Only two of those 22 states voted for Donald J. Trump — Utah and Iowa. The rest are hardcore liberal blue states.

Mitchell claimed any way to find legislation to protect children from sharing bathrooms with the opposite sex, he’s 100 percent for, but he’s “not convinced” that taking gender identity out of code is an avenue towards a solution.

Mitchell then referenced his endorsement from Rep. Dean Fisher. Fisher has led the charge on getting gender identity out of the Civil Rights Code.

Shipley, on the other hand, said it is a “very, very serious issue” and the most important issue as to why he is running for office.

“There are a lot of children who are very confused,” he said. “When I was in high school 15 years ago, life was hard enough as it is. There’s a lot of pressure, puberty is a very complicated time, high school can be a mean place, there are a lot of children that are very confused. They do not know who they are. We have not trained them in their identity. They’ve been trained to laugh at religion…They think that all that matters is their sexual orientation, their victim status, their gender — which is, in my opinion, totally made up.”

Shipley said when gender identity was added to the code in 2007, none of the legislators envisioned the consequences we’ve seen of the addition.

“The rights of one person are now superseding the rights of everyone else,” Shipley said.

Gender identity, Shipley said, is a mental illness. He said the other side claims if a young boy isn’t allowed to play volleyball against girls, the kid will emotionally harm themselves or have suicidal ideas.

“What I’ve said is, if a kid is going to threaten suicide because they can’t play sports with the girls, that’s not a mentally healthy individual. This is someone who needs a lot of serious love and attention to figure out who they are in the world,” Shipley said.

Shipley said he would be in favor of eliminating gender identity from the Civil Rights Code.

“I think it’s a made-up thing. I think Marxists have taken advantage of this to destabilize society, they do want to destroy the family. That’s why school boards in Iowa now have policies saying that state law prevents them from communicating with parents,” Shipley said.

He then criticized Holt for refusing to hold a hearing on the issue.

“Nobody knows what the law says,” Shipley said. “The lawmakers certainly don’t know what it says, and we’re not even willing to find out because a meeting might be too controversial and because big business gets really upset when you talk about some of this stuff and we don’t want to offend the NCAA, we don’t want to offend the MLB, so we’re just going to force men going into our young women’s locker rooms and we’re going to force people walking around topless at the pool and there’s nothing we can do. We need to have a lot of serious discussion on this.”

Shipley called for having compassion on the issue due to the children struggling and hurting. But he said it would be a “mistake” to force people to conform to the suffering.

“And it’s in Iowa law right now,” he said. “Gender identity has no business in Iowa Code.”

Author: Jacob Hall

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