Fifty-five Republicans in the Iowa House have passed a bill that forbids trans athletes from participating in girls’ and women’s sports at all public and private schools and colleges in Iowa. Republican Representative Skyler Wheeler of Orange City says transgender athletes who identify as female have an unfair competitive advantage in girls’ sports.
One Republican and all the Democrats present in the House last Monday night voted against the bill. Representative Ras Smith, a Democrat from Waterloo, was one of four members of the House Black Caucus to speak against it.
Representative Jeff Shipley, a Republican from Fairfield, says he objects to all school policies that encourage or condone transgender students.
House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights responded.
Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, a Democrat from Ames, says the bill is meanspirited.
Representative Henry Stone, a Republican from Forest City, is one of the bill’s sponsors. He says critics are forgetting one side of the equation.
The Iowa Senate may debate the bill this week. Governor Kim Reynolds asked lawmakers to pass this kind of legislation nine months ago.