Cruel, reckless House bill bullies Iowans
Posted on February 3, 2023 at 2:13 PM by Anne Discher
Common Good Iowa today released the following statement from Anne Discher, executive director of CGI, about House File 190, which would remove gender identity from the Iowa Civil Rights Act:
It is unusual for our organization to issue a statement about a bill at the State Capitol that has only been introduced, but has not yet advanced. But these are not usual times.
On Thursday, on their way out of town for the weekend, 12 Iowa legislators introduced a bill, House File 190, that would deny civil rights protection to Iowans of all ages on the basis of their gender identity.
This is reckless. It is cruel. It bullies transgender Iowans and invites physical and emotional abuse of these Iowans who deserve the same protections as everyone else in the state. It puts children at risk. It puts their parents at risk. It offers nothing for the common good of this state, which is our business as an organization, and should be the business of every Iowan. This bill is immoral by any standard of compassion or equity.
The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment, wages, public accommodations, housing, education and credit practices based on several characteristics, including race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability or familial status. Iowa lawmakers added gender identity, along with sexual orientation, as a protected characteristic 16 years ago, in 2007.
HF 190 would remove gender identity from the list.
We call on Speaker Pat Grassley and Majority Leader Matt Windschitl — both of whom had the good sense not to sign on to this bill — to demand its withdrawal. We further call on Governor Kim Reynolds and leaders of the Iowa Senate to affirm that this legislation will not advance.
Our state is too polarized as it is, and has done enough to punch down on Iowans who have done nothing to deserve it. This is an opportunity for the Governor and legislative leaders to stop the onslaught. We all must demand better, and it starts with those who are in control of the levers of power to make sure all Iowans not only feel safe — but are safe — no matter who they are.