TRANSGENDER RIGHTS

One Iowa Action recognizes that transgender Iowans are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and harmful policies. We prioritize the policy needs of transgender Iowans.

Hate Crimes

Under Iowa’s current hate crimes law, gender identity and gender expression are not protected classes. This means if someone commits a crime against a transgender person because they are transgender, they cannot be charged with a hate crime on a state level.

More than one in four transgender individuals will be targeted by bias-driven assault in their lifetime, and that number is even higher for transgender women and transgender people of color. In 2017, more deaths were traced to transphobic violence in the United States than any other year in at least a decade. The lack of protection for transgender Iowans under the law is unacceptable.

One Iowa Action aims to add gender identity and gender expression as protected classes to Iowa’s hate crimes law.

Voter ID

Iowa passed a voter ID law last year that requires voters to present approved identity documents at the polls. The new law also includes language specifying that a voter can be challenged at the poll if they don’t resemble the photo on their identity document.

Eighty-one percent of transgender Iowans reported not having identity documents that match their name and gender according to a 2015 survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality. By requiring these documents, the new voter ID law could subject transgender Iowans to undue scrutiny and potential discrimination from poll workers.

One Iowa Action advocates for the repeal of this law. In the meantime, we are monitoring the implementation of new voter ID rules.

CONVERSION THERAPY

So-called “conversion therapy” is a dangerous, discredited practice aimed at changing a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. It is most commonly aimed at young people.

This fraudulent practice uses rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force a young person to try to change who they are. This can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide. The nation’s leading mental health associations including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and many others have issued position statements warning about the dangers of conversion therapy.

One Iowa Action aims to ban conversion therapy for minors in our state.

CIVIL RIGHTS

Both sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes under the Iowa Civil Rights Act. This means LGBTQ people are legally protected from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodation, education, and credit practices.

Iowa is one of less than half of the states in this country with comprehensive anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. We are very proud of this fact; everyone deserves equal protection under the law.

One Iowa Action aims to defend the Iowa Civil Rights Act from any efforts to dilute or alter its protections. The law should apply to everyone, and citizens should not be able to pick and choose which laws to follow.

COURTS

A fair and independent judicial system is necessary for a functioning democracy and plays a particularly important role in securing equality under the law for the LGBTQ community. When state and federal legislators pass discriminatory laws, the courts are often the last resort in protecting LGBTQ rights.

The Iowa Supreme Court struck down a discriminatory statute in favor of statewide marriage equality in 2009, and the U.S. Supreme Court struck down similar laws on the national stage in 2015, leading to nationwide marriage equality.

One Iowa Action aims to ensure that our courts are diverse, fair, and impartial so that they continue to uphold the inalienable rights of all Iowans.