DES MOINES, Iowa — A bill that would ban transgender women and girls from participating in sports with the gender they identify as advanced Monday, passing the House Education Committee.
Under the proposal, transgender athletes would only be allowed to participate in sports under their sex assigned at birth. Iowa Safe Schools issued a statement saying the bill would negatively affect school staff and students.
“This bill exemplifies the Iowa Legislature’s ongoing trend of bullying already marginalized students,” said Becky Smith, executive director for Iowa Safe Schools. “Instead of working to address student mental health concerns which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, our elected officials continue to create solutions to problems that don’t actually exist."
Supporters say it protects girls' sports.
"I think at the end of the day it's the responsibility and legislature to make sure that we are protecting girls' sports," said House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, earlier this month. "And I just think that again, that's something that this bill is able to achieve that in a very clear manner following the path of a lot of other states."
The Iowa Democratic Party also released a statement in opposition to the bill, calling it "an attack on Iowa's children."
A similar bill stalled in the House in 2021.
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