This year has already started its attack on the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community in the state of Iowa. GOP lawmakers in our state such as Dean Fisher, Sandy Salmon and Skyler Wheeler are on the warpath to drive out marriage equality and erase the transgender population’s existence and rights in our state.
It began to take an aggressive action last May (May 2019) when Governor Reynolds and her party exempted gender confirmation surgery and targeted aspects of planned parenthood in HF766. On Transgender Day of Remembrance, Skyler Wheeler had a meltdown over the fact that Iowa Safe Schools had the Transgender Flag up for a total of maybe 3 mins at the state capitol (11/20/19).
We have already seen the rise and fall of an Iowa version of a bathroom bill this year (HF2164). Now we have HF2201 and HF2202 targeting our LGBTQIA+ youth, attempting to block educators from discussion gender identity and sexual orientation.
Be vigilant however. While these attacks on the LGBTQIA+ rights and specifically transgender rights and access are being hurled at us like a blind giant hurls boulders – they are often attempts by the government to obfuscate other legislation to distract us from other matters.
Organizations like ProgressIowa, OneIowa, Interfaith Alliance and Iowa Safe Schools are at the forefront providing us information to contact our legislators when these bills start coming so we can voice our dissent.
As the ACLU proposes, dissent is patriotic. And that it is! When we stand together and oppose tyranny it allows us to be empowered but not only that: to state, we are not alone. You aren’t. You have the opportunity to be a champion against a foe that can and WILL be stopped.
Long live the fighters!