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The Iowa Standard emailed all Iowa legislators three questions regarding the incidents at the Pella, Sioux Center and Jefferson swimming pools. The three questions were:

1. What are your thoughts on this situation involving the Pella Aquatic Center?


2. Should individuals, minors included, be allowed to wear swimwear based on their gender identity rather than body parts?

3. Do you support removing sexual orientation and gender identity from the Iowa Civil Rights code?

Here are Republican Rep. Terry Baxter’s responses:

“Thank you for your email and questions about recent incidents at the Pella Aquatic Center and the Sioux Center Pool. There are serious questions left unanswered with both cases.  For example, had the individuals in each case undergone sex-change surgeries to remove breasts or were they displaying obvious female breasts leaving the possibility open for them to trans back to their birth gender at any time without consequence?

This is where the Iowa Civil Rights Code is vague and leaves room for all kinds of abuse by those who merely “identify” as the opposite gender.  A traditional transgender undergoes hormone therapy and surgical procedures that alter body parts to match their new gender.  A radical mastectomy would have changed the public outcry in the above two scenarios.

This issue also brings in the whole subject of birth men in women’s sports.  If a male is merely identifying as a female for a competition but still maintains all male genitals and is producing natural testosterone, I would argue that they are still a male and should be disqualified from women’s sports. This is part of the same discussion.

Your questionnaire exposes serious loopholes in the Iowa Civil Rights Code that begs for legislative inquiry, clarification and action.  I agree with the underlining hypothesis of your questionnaire, there seems to be a fundamental difference between a surgical transgender and someone who is merely identifying as the opposite gender.”


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