Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed Thursday’s bill into law that bans transgender women from participating in girls’ high school sports and womens’ college athletics. This rejects opponents’ argument that Reynolds would cause harm to vulnerable children to address a problem that is not there.
Just one day after legislators had sent it, Reynolds signed the bill in a ceremony at the Capitol. The bill passed both the House and Senate without any Republican support.
The Republican governor referred to the signing as a celebration of girls’ sports victories.
“No amount or training, talent or effort can compensate for the physical advantages that males have over their female counterparts. Reynolds stated that it is simply a fact of human biology. “Females being forced to compete with males is a violation of inclusivity, and it’s completely unfair.”
Ainsley Erzen from Carlisle High School, a senior, set the state 800-meter record and appeared at committee meetings in support of the bill. Erzen said that the law will protect female athletes.
Erzen stated that “Iowa girls today, and every generation to follow them,” said Erzen. “Whether it’s winning titles, scholarships, records or a place on a team, this is what Erzen said. There will not be a girl left out of their sport.
Reynolds was asked by a reporter to provide an example of a girl who had been outperformed in a competition by a transgender female athlete. The governor declined, but maintained that the restrictions were necessary.
The bill was signed by Republican leaders and became effective immediately. Any transgender student who is involved in sports may have to stop immediately. Although it was not clear how many students the bill would affect in Iowa, it is believed that it will only impact a few.
Zach Wahls, Senate Democratic Leader, stated that the legislation would be in effect immediately after the governor signs it. This is a sign that she is more concerned about political points than the impact legislation has on the most marginalized children in society.
Students participating in interscholastic athletics sponsored or sanctioned or accredited by a nonpublic school or public school district must play only with students who are the same gender as them. The law also includes provisions that allow civil lawsuits to be brought to enforce its intent. This bill covers sports starting in primary school through state universities and colleges.
Lobbyists representing school boards, teachers, and school administrators said that the bill places educators and administrators in a difficult position. They must decide whether to follow the state law or the federal law prohibiting discrimination based on gender in sports activities.
Phil Roeder, Des Moines Public Schools spokesperson, said that it is not clear at this time how schools will implement the law. District’s lobbyist opposed this bill because it discriminates against transgender girls, and the district is concerned that it would conflict with federal anti-discrimination legislation.
He stated that “our school district welcomes, supports and provides opportunities for LGBTQ students”
Heather Doe, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Education, confirmed that the agency had not provided guidance to schools but said the bill was in effect immediately.
Mark Stringer, executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa denounced the law and said it “violates civil rights of transgender women and girls” in Iowa.
Stringer stated that Iowa has now accepted unsupported myths regarding transgender girls and women taking part in sports — myths fuelled by fear and ignorance.”
Iowa joins 10 other GOP-run States with similar laws. Some of these laws have been challenged in court, claiming violations of federal anti-discrimination laws and constitutional rights.
Nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency informed lawmakers that the state could lose federal funding if it is found violating federal civil rights laws. According to the agency, the bill could conflict with participation rules for college, junior college, and university athletic organizations. This could lead to eligibility being revoked, media rights, or loss of competition hosting revenue. The state may also be liable for litigation costs.
Iowa Safe Schools’ executive director Becky Smith held a transgender flag in support of Reynolds and several girls from other schools as she signed the bill. Smith stated that the law would “open up a huge landslide lawsuits against different school district across the state when transgender student remember that they have a federal rights to protection under the law.”
Governor of South Dakota Krisi Noem has signed a similar ban to law in February.
Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi have similar laws. Texas, Tennessee, Montana, Montana, Texas, and Mississippi all passed similar laws last year. After a federal judge ruled that the 2020 Idaho law was likely not to be deemed unconstitutional, enforcement of it has been put on hold.
Last July, a judge in West Virginia issued an order allowing a transgender girl aged 11 to participate in girls’ cross-country. The judge ruled that the state’s last-year law would have violated her constitutional rights as well as a federal law which guarantees equal treatment for men and women in education programs.