UPDATE: House Judiciary Committee Chair Steven Holt confirmed by email on January 29, “The bill is dead. I will not assign it to sub-committee.”
Original post follows:
Nine Iowa House Republicans are trying to make it legal to discriminate against transgender Iowans in many areas of daily life, including education, employment, and housing.
House File 2164 would remove gender identity protections from the Iowa Civil Rights Act. Adding sexual orientation and gender identity language to that law in 2007 was one of the hard-fought victories of the new Democratic legislative majority.
The civil rights law bans discrimination against protected classes in “public accommodations, employment, apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs, vocational schools, or housing.” Iowa House and Senate Republicans set a terrible precedent last year by altering the code to deny gender-affirming surgery to transgender Medicaid recipients. (That law is being challenged in court.) So it’s not surprising a group of social conservatives want to deny all civil rights to trans Iowans.
It’s far from clear there are 51 votes to get this horrible proposal through the Iowa House, or that state Senate leaders would want to pass it in the upper chamber. After the jump I’ve highlighted how fair-minded Iowans can help keep this bill from becoming law.