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Every member of the Iowa House and Senate was sent the following three questions regarding the Pella Aquatic Center incident and policy. Here are Rep. Sandy Salmon’s answers:
1. What are your thoughts on this situation involving the Pella Aquatic Center?
- This is and should be entirely unacceptable in our society. Allowing people to expose themselves in this way wreaks heavy damage and destruction on us and on others, on families, and on society as a whole. We should respect ourselves and each other and care about each other enough to not allow this kind of behavior. This would perpetuate the already sexually toxic environment we already live in. If we don’t think we live in a sexually toxic environment, that tells us a lot about ourselves: we have been desensitized to it. Already we see the hyper-sexualization of teens, and even prepubescent children, in our society. It is totally unacceptable.
- The effect of allowing this behavior and making it acceptable would have the same effect as research shows pornography is already having in society which is: low self-esteem and body image disorders; an increase in sexual activity at younger ages; a greater likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior; learning to treat each other as objects and commodities to look at; greater likelihood of sexual harassment or sexually coercive and forceful behavior; increased sexual aggression toward others; increased verbal and physical aggression toward others; increase in sex crimes; increase in demand for sex trafficking and prostitution.
- If that’s not bad enough consider these additional already proven outcomes of this kind of exposure: hindered brain development and functioning, emotional and medical illnesses, biologically addictive potential, which means more novelty and intensity are required overtime in order to be satisfied; difficulty in forming or maintaining intimate relationships, having a detrimental and destructive effect on the family unit.
- Why is indecent exposure so destructive? Because it directly violates God’s design for human sexuality. Human beings were not made to behave this way.
- Government has a role to protect individuals and to protect the family and that is why we outlaw indecent exposure. Allowing this behavior would thrust us into an acute public health crisis as well as a moral and spiritual health crisis.
- I am working on legislation to address this issue.
2. Should individuals, minors included, be allowed to wear swimwear based on their gender identity rather than body parts?
- Swimwear should be worn based on biological body parts; indecent exposure doesn’t care about your gender identity – it is an equal opportunity destroyer.
3. Do you support removing sexual orientation and gender identity from the Iowa Civil Rights code?
- Yes, I support removing sexual orientation and gender identity from the civil rights code. I have supported bills in the legislature regarding this. Those bills have not moved. Protected classes in our civil rights code such as race, sex, ethnicity, nationality, or disability have historically been based on immutable or unchangeable characteristics and not behaviors. Sexual orientation and gender identity, while not minimizing the unwanted feelings and the struggles people have, involve people asserting choices. When choice is involved people should not enjoy “special rights” that others do not have. It is important to remember that even if sexual orientation and gender identity were not in the civil rights code, those people would still enjoy the same rights and liberties under our Constitution that everyone else has – they would not lose those rights.