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Democrat State Sen. Herman Quirmbach spoke against Senate File 83, a bill that would prohibit instruction on gender identity for students in K-8 grades and provide parents with an avenue for justice if it would happen.

Quirmbach claimed gender identity is “innate.”

“It is a part of how people are born,” he said. “It is a part of their character. A part, if you will, of their soul.”

Quirmbach said the stories he hears from trans people and members of the LGBT community are “remarkably the same.” Claims that when they were five, six or seven years old they knew they were “different.”

“It is not a choice,” he said. “It is part of who they are.”

Quirmbach said the topic must be taught in Iowa schools based on Iowa law. He said schools are required to address human growth and development for all kids, not just some.

“Should parents be involved? Of course, they should,” he said.

He said he talked with a teacher at the Capitol on Monday and heard a story about how the teacher had a trans student in their class and did research and then talked with the parent to help educate the parent on the issue.

“That is the kind of collaborative discussion and collaborative work together to meet the needs of our children,” he said. “We have to put the children first. Some kids are just trans or LGBT more broadly and they deserve to have that support too.”


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