The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Opinion | The fight for transgender rights is far from over

The Iowa Legislature didn’t advance a bill that affects transgender rights on Jan. 31.
Isabella Tisdale
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds opens the Faith and Freedom Presidential Town Hall at the Iowa Events Center on Sept. 16, 2023. The event had ten Republican candidates speak for a crowd of over 1,000. Reynolds spoke to the audience about her work on changing laws around abortion and gender-affirming care.

Iowa Republican lawmakers failed to pass another anti-LGBTQ+ bill, House File 2082, which would make it legal to discriminate against transgender people.

The bill would have specifically removed protections for transgender people and classify gender dysphoria as a legal disability.

This was an act of discrimination. While this bill was shot down, the fight for protecting transgender rights is far from over.

The transgender community is already one of the most targeted groups of people in the country. Taking away their protections in our state sends a threatening reminder that Iowa lawmakers will go out of their way to marginalize the LGBTQ+ community because they believe that they pose a threat to the fabric of our society for whatever reason.

Their obsession and hatred toward trans people show they are not equipped to prioritize active issues like school safety.

Conservative politicians have a history of spouting their distorted beliefs that being transgender is immoral and a ploy for predatory motives. Now they think it’s a disability.

It is important for everyone to combat these harmful stereotypes perpetuated by our state politicians. Being transgender is not immoral, and the accusation that people with diverse gender identities are inherently predatory is completeley baseless. The lack of empirical evidence speaks for itself. Republicans have been pushing out countless bills within recent years that specifically target transgender individuals, motivated by their discomfort with or lack of understanding of the LGBTQ+ community.

The bill HF 2082 was strictly meant to discriminate against a protected class. If this bill got passed, there is no doubt that they would feel obliged to take harsher discriminatory measures to ensure that transgender people do not feel safe in this state.

Another example of these abrasive measures is bill House File 180, which would permit school staff and teachers to “out” their transgender students, which was withdrawn due to another bill, Senate File 482, signed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds that restricts trans people from using the bathroom associated with their gender identity.

Another signed bill nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which has a temporary injunction, bans topics of gender identity and sexual orientation in K-8 schools. Now more than ever, it is important to actively protest these prejudiced laws.

Transgender people deserve to exist with full protection under the law, and kids deserve to have the choice of learning about the basics of gender identity so they can be more aware of the world around them.

We must continue to push our politicians to end their discriminatory campaign against the LGBTQ+ community and focus on eliminating the issues that genuinely negatively impact the people in our state.

Though the jig is up for Iowa Republican lawmakers for now, we must continue to protest any anti-LGBTQ+ bill they will undoubtedly put out. Their incessant hate makes them completely unfit to be politicians because they are determined to strip the rights and protections of Americans based on their personal beliefs under the ridiculous guise of protecting kids from the mere topic of gender identity.

There are real problems that Iowa lawmakers need to tackle such as gun violence, the lack of security in K-12 schools, and the inadequate mental health system. Their deflection of blame onto the LGBTQ+ community is completely baseless and ignorant.




Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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About the Contributors
Natalie Nye
Natalie Nye, Opinions Columnist
Natalie Nye is a fourth-year Journalism/Mass Communication student with a minor in art at the Univeristy of Iowa. She is an opinions columnist at The Daily Iowan and a freelance writer for Little Village magazine. She also has her own blog, called A Very Public Blog.
Isabella Tisdale
Isabella Tisdale, Photojournalist
Isabella Tisdale is a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan and is a senior at West High school. In her free time, she stage manages for the theater program at West High. She plans to double major in political science and journalism.