Iowa governor continues last-minute push to ban trans athletes
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is joining a growing legion of Republican lawmakers who support banning transgender girls from playing in women's sports.
The state of play: There's typically legislation targeting transgender people every year by a small group of conservative legislators in the state, but this is the first time Reynolds has overtly pushed for it.
Driving the news: During a press conference yesterday, Reynolds said she told Republican leaders she wants to see a bill addressing the issue on her desk, even though session has almost ended.
- She said she believes it's a "fairness" issue, suggesting cisgender girls will be at a disadvantage when it comes to qualifying for events and scholarships.
- "We either have girl sports or we don't," Reynolds added.
- She first signaled her position during a Fox News town hall last week.
- Nine other bills across five states, mostly focused on health care, have failed.
- Worth noting: Like other lawmakers, Reynolds didn't cite a specific complaint or instance of when a trans student held an unfair advantage.
The other side: Reynolds' move is part of a nationwide effort to rally up a conservative base that may feel fearful or be uneducated about the trans community, said Becky Ritland, interim executive director of Iowa Safe Schools.
- "Iowa Nice does not apply to the trans community," Ritland said. "That really just exacerbates students not feeling safe at school."
What's next: Expect to see this issue pop up as an amendment on top of a another bill — which recently happened in Florida.
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