All three members of a House panel have voted against a bill that would have removed protections for gender identity from Iowa’s Civil Rights Act. Republican Representative John Wills of Spirit Lake says he has problems with the law in general, but he voted to block the bill from advancing.
Hundreds of people came to the statehouse to oppose the bill, and chanted “trans rights are human rights” outside the committee room. Critics of the bill said it would have lead to transgender Iowans being denied housing or service at restaurants. Jocelyn Krueger of Poweshiek County told lawmakers about living in Indiana and being denied service at a grocery store.
Iowa’s Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment, wages, bank loans, housing and education that’s based on a person’s race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, ancestry, disability or gender identity. Representative Jeff Shipley, the bill’s sponsor, says the conversation about removing gender identity from that list will continue despite the bill’s defeat. Shipley’s bill would have declared gender dysphoria a disability under Iowa law.