Iowa's flurry of anti-LGBTQ+ bills reflect nationwide trend
GOP lawmakers nationwide are filing a record number of bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community — including here in Iowa.
Driving the news: Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republican lawmakers have proposed a record-breaking 19 bills targeting LGBTQ+ people already this year. The previous annual record was 15, Keenan Crow of advocacy group One Iowa tells Axios.
- Nationwide, 340 LGBTQ+ bills have been proposed in state legislatures, including a record number targeting transgender people, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
State of play: Iowa's LGBTQ+ bills that have the most support from Republican lawmakers relate to classroom policies.
- A bill from Reynolds bans teachers from speaking about gender identity in K-3rd grade classrooms and using a student's preferred nickname and pronouns without parental permission.
- It also requires the Iowa Department of Education to create a "book removal" list. If a book is successfully challenged and removed from a district's library, it would require parental permission to check out — no matter what school district.
- The “Don't Say Gay" portion of Reynolds’ bill uses the same language as the one Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last year.
What they're saying: Especially as mask and COVID-19 vaccine debates die down, targeting LGBTQ+ people is becoming the new "wedge issue" nationwide, Crow says.
The other side: Reynolds has argued the bill is meant to give parents more knowledge and choice over what's happening in classrooms, the Register reports.
More Des Moines stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.