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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

2021 record year for anti-transgender bills in US and Iowa

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, anti-transgender bills were introduced in 33 states, including Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa — As recognition of the transgender community grows, so do efforts to pass laws impacting their rights. 

A record number of bills were introduced this year at the state level across the country that could limit transgender Americans' rights according to One Iowa, an LGBTQ advocacy group based in West Des Moines.

"In 2019, there were 35 anti-transgender bills," said Keenan Crow, the public policy director for One Iowa. "In 2020, there were 100, and this year, there were 144."

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, anti-transgender bills were introduced in 33 states, including Iowa. 

In this legislative session, 15 bills were introduced that could impact transgender students' rights to participate in sports, school curriculum changes for teaching gender identity and access to health care options specifically for transgender children.

"13 of the 15 bills specifically targeted transgender Iowans and eight of them targeted against transgender children," Crow said.

None of these bills made it through funnel week. While the end of this legislative session is approaching, these bills aren't necessarily dead in the water. 

According to Crow, they can be added to other bills as amendments or passed next session. It happened in 2019.

Most of these bills were introduced in the Iowa House and co-sponsored by Republican State Representatives Jeff Shipley and Sandy Salmon. 

Local 5 reached out to both lawmakers to ask if they intend to pursue these bills next session, but they did not reply.

Watch: Lawmaker introduces bill to ban transgender youth from getting gender-affirming care, says kids will 'outgrow' being transgender