Des Moines, Iowa — The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn parts of a new state law that forbids instruction about sexual orientation in elementary classrooms.
It also requires schools to remove books with graphic sexual content. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Iowa Safe Schools, a group that advocates for LGBTQ youth, and seven families with students in Iowa schools. Berry Stevens, a student in West Des Moines, spoke during an online news conference about the lawsuit.
Percy Batista-Pedro of Waterloo, the leader of his high school’s gay-straight alliance, says the law is blatant discrimination.
Belinda Scarott, Percy’s mom, calls the law unnecessarily cruel.
Thomas Story, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, says the state law violates free speech and equal protection provisions in the US Constitution.
Lambda Legal, which represented same-sex couples who successfully sued for the right to marry in Iowa, is also representing the students and parents who’ve filed this lawsuit. Governor Reynolds says protecting children from pornography and sexually explicit content
should not be controversial — and books with graphic depictions of sex acts have absolutely no place in Iowa schools.