The proposed anti-trans legislation introduced this session may have failed, but the topic isn’t dead.
For a bizarre, brief moment Rep. Sandy Salmon seized a moment to attack trans students.
During the debate on HF 847, a bill about education programs in Iowa, Salmon introduced amendment H-1270, which would include a section barring trans girls and women from playing girls’ sports.
However, for all Salmon’s concern, she withdrew the amendment as soon as she was done.
So, Salmon took two minutes to simply call for discrimination against transwomen in Iowa.
She warned that trans girls (who she repeatedly called “biological males”) would make school sports unfair for girls because they would be bigger, stronger and faster.
“To pretend otherwise is naïve, living in unreality and is denying what is obvious and basic to humanity,” she said.
Salmon cited an anti-trans website that collects data about performance in school sports as evidence of how much better men and boys perform in sports compared to women.
“A boy may believe he is a girl, but that doesn’t cancel out his physical advantages,” she said. “It is entirely unfair for girls to have to compete against biological boys in sports.”
She then said the whole reason women’s sports were created is because of that understanding of physical differences, and argued that to allow trans girls to participate is to eliminate the purpose of girls’ sports entirely.
But including trans girls in school sports doesn’t prevent cisgender girls from playing.
Doctors, including Dr. Eric Vilain who has advised both the International Olympic Committee and the NCAA on the issue, routinely say that the issue is more complicated than ‘who has the advantage,’ particularly across the different types of sports.
Vilain has also said there’s no good faith reason to bar trans women from sports, especially at the high school level.
Salmon cited other states like Mississippi, the Dakotas and Missouri that have already passed laws like this, despite President Joe Biden’s executive order banning discrimination based on gender identity. The order includes school sports.
“Contrary to what I’ve heard, this legislation is not discrimination,” Salmon said. “It does not exclude anyone. Instead it makes sure there is a place for everyone.”
Everyone but trans athletes.