LGBTQ students and advocacy groups react to the Iowa House passing transgender bathroom bill

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:29 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The House passed SF 482 Thursday, which prohibits people from entering a school restroom or locker room that doesn’t align with their sex at birth.

It already passed the Senate and is now headed to Governor Reynolds’s desk to be signed into law.

Using the restroom was something some students said was an issue before this law was signed with some students like Julie Swiftbird refusing to use public restrooms.

“I’m afraid of girls sitting on the counter making fun of the way I look,” said Julie Swiftbird.

“I’m nervous someone is going to be singled out or attacked,” said Mars Zinski.

Swiftbird and Zinski are both part of the LGBTQ community. If this bill is signed into law they aren’t worried about their safety as much as they are for their transgender friends.

“I’m more afraid for my friends of the trans community, people openly calling them names,” said Swiftbird. “I don’t want that to happen.”

LGBTQ Advocacy said this law violates not only Iowa’s Civil Rights Act but Title IX.

“In terms of the everyday effects it has on our students it further isolates transgender students,” said the Director of Public Policy and Communications for Iowa Safe Schools, Damian Thompson. “They just want to be there and learn and be accepted like everyone else.”

“In terms of the Iowa civil rights act, what they’ve done is essentially written an exception for themselves that says this is not discriminatory,” said One Iowa Director of Policy Keenan Crow. “The reason they’ve done that is that they know it is discriminatory.”

Crow said if the bill was signed it would become law immediately and create confusion and fear for students like some of Swiftbird’s friends.

“Why should they care about people who are minding their own business and trying to be themselves,” said swiftbird.