Local community rallies in protest of new bills targeting LGBTQ+
Most recently in March 2023, Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds introduced House File 272, which is now removing all legal rights and protection for transgender people in the state of Iowa. The Bill prohibits all transgender people from changing the gender identifier on their birth certificate document and also removes gender identity from the state’s Civil Rights Act.
As well as SF 538, which the Iowa Senate passed on March 8, 2023. This Bill will prohibit transgender individuals under the age of 18 from being able to receive gender-related healthcare.
We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Attorney, Ben Lynch who was kind enough to share his thoughts about the bill and the possible changes that might affect the community in the legal realm.
(David Greedy/Getty Images)
“In order to have a civil rights claim, you have to be part of a protected class like; race, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, color, creed, etc. House File 272 is essentially saying, being a trans person is not a protected class anymore,” said Lynch. “So, they don't have the mechanism or the means now under the law to file a civil rights claim based on their trans status.”
SF 482 was also passed by the Iowa Senate and is now pending to be signed into law. This Bill, which is known as the “bathroom bill’, would prohibit individuals from entering and using bathrooms that do not correspond with that person’s biological sex.
Republican Rep. Steve Holt, said, “I do understand and empathize with a child that may not feel comfortable using the bathroom of their biological sex. Accommodations should be made when possible to keep that child comfortable as they change or use the restroom," Holt said. "However, that cannot be done or should not be done at the expense of the privacy and safety of our daughters.”
Despite the efforts of the community to protest and groundbreaking numbers in attendance, the Senate passed these bills shortly after. So, what necessarily does this mean for the transgender community, it means that individuals are no longer guarded against unfair or prejudiced treatment in the workplace, housing and schools. This new bill has incited quite the resistance from the local community and has been greatly critiqued by civil rights organizations and LGBTQ+ supporters.
“Gender identity up until this time was a protected class, now it's not. Individuals are no longer guarded against unfair, prejudiced treatment in the workplace, housing and schools. I'm going to keep fighting and I'm going to keep pressing and doing what I can to help by speaking out and taking cases that I'm passionate about and treating people with respect. Ultimately just be kind to everybody, especially the people that look and talk and act differently than you,” said, Lynch.