Feb 1, 2024 [Des Moines, Iowa]— Just one day after an Iowa House subcommittee unanimously rejected efforts to strip transgender Iowans of their civil rights, Governor Kim Reynolds introduced a new piece of legislation, HSB 649, that advocates are referring to as the LGBTQ Erasure Act. This discriminatory legislation broadly attacks trans Iowans, same-sex parents, their children, and many more.
The bill rigidly defines “mother” and “father” in terms of their sex assigned at birth, potentially creating complications for the children of same-sex parents. It creates different birth certificates and driver’s licenses for transgender people that note their transgender status. This will ultimately require transgender people to out themselves anywhere they have to present their ID (voting, picking up a package, buying alcohol at the grocery store, etc.) Additionally, it could be interpreted to require government-owned, operated, or funded buildings to require transgender people to use the wrong single-sex restroom, including at colleges, libraries, and the DMV. It could also be interpreted to discriminate in violation of the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity. Requiring government funded or run domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers to treat transgender women inconsistent with their gender identity places federal funds at risk. Last but not least, it erases non-binary people from the law entirely.
One Iowa Action Executive Director, Courtney Reyes, condemned the legislation in a statement:
“We demand that Governor Reynolds stop her cruel, relentless attacks on the LGBTQ community and start focusing on things that matter: funding our schools, lowering our cancer rates, and cleaning up our water.
Over and over again, the focus at the statehouse seems to be on relegating LGBTQ Iowans to second-class status. We have had enough. We showed up in massive numbers to stop the attack on our trans siblings, and we will show up again if this harmful legislation moves a single step forward.”