Representative Dean Fisher has led the push to remove gender identity from the Iowa Civil Rights Code for the last few years. He has been at the forefront of recognizing this problem for what it is and he has worked tirelessly to get something done.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened. But he’s holding out hope it will.
And during Thursday night’s debate between Representative Jeff Shipley, who is a vocal supporter of removing gender identity from the civil rights code, and Rep. Joe Mitchell, who vocally defends leaving gender identity in the code, Mitchell invoked Fisher’s endorsement of his campaign in his answer.
Fisher has responded, saying that endorsing a fellow member of the legislature is “always tricky business” with many issues at play and behaviors to consider. Fisher said he hopes Mitchell will, in time, change his position and appreciates that Shipley agrees with him on the issue.
“Oftentimes the endorsement can seem at odds with positions we may hold on specific issues, but those specific issues are simply part of a much larger picture,” Fisher said. “In regards to Gender Identity, I am firm in my position that the legislature clearly needs to strike that crazy idea from the Iowa Civil Rights Code and I have filed legislation twice now to do just that. Allowing Gender Identity to remain in the code provides a foundation for many aspects of the conflicts we are seeing regarding Gender Identity now in sports, schools, and businesses.
“These conflicts will continue until we tear out that foundation. I will continue to press for that important change. I understand that Rep. Mitchell does not currently support that change but I hope that in time he will come to understand the need for it and support it, and I appreciate that Rep. Shipley agrees with me on that specific issue. I know and respect both of these gentlemen and will work with whoever comes out ahead in the primary. It will be important for their future constituents to continue to express their position on the matter of Gender Identity and the impact it is having on our children especially.”
Mitchell has criticized the “small group” of legislators who propose “anti-LGBTQ” bills that he promises will “never see the light of day.” That group, of course, includes Fisher.