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LIVE: Bills targeting trans youth signed into law

Published March 1, 2023 at 1:51 PM CST
Madeleine Charis King

Several bills targeting LGBTQ people -- and trans youth in particular -- have made it past the first legislative deadline in the Statehouse. Two bills have been signed into law.

March 29

Parents’ rights bill advances in Iowa House

Posted March 31, 2023 at 1:42 PM CDT

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ expansive school curriculum and parents’ rights bill is advancing in the Iowa House after passing last week in the Senate.

Among other things, the bill requires parents to give written permission before a student can change the name or pronouns they use at school. Also, school staff would have to report to parents if a student expresses a gender different from their sex at birth.

Fort Dodge parent Sara Small told the subcommittee that her transgender daughter has already struggled with suicidal thoughts. She says this bill, on top of new restrictions on school bathrooms, will push her further into the margins.

“If you pass this bill, there is going to be even more children even younger than her having those feelings inside because their gender identity — their identity, the core of who they are — is being suppressed.”

The bill’s supporters say it’s meant to ensure parents are informed when students ask to socially transition at school.

House Education Chair Skyler Wheeler, R-Hull, says he is planning changes to the bill when it comes up in committee on Thursday, but wouldn’t offer specifics.

March 22

Bill banning gender identity curriculum passed in Iowa Senate

Posted March 23, 2023 at 12:01 PM CDT

Gender identity and sexual orientation would be banned topics in school curriculum and instruction under a bill (SF 496) passed in the Iowa Senate on Wednesday.

It also adds more rules regarding transgender students, and says schools must have parental consent before approving a student to use a different name or pronouns. If any school employee believes a student is expressing a different gender than their sex at birth, they must immediately tell the child’s parents.

That ban would cover kindergarten through sixth grade much like a similar bill passed in the House.

Sen. Ken Rozenboom, R-Oskaloosa, says parents who want their kids to learn about gender identity should talk to them about it at home.

“That is not age-appropriate education in any elementary school and this bill explicitly prohibits that curriculum and lesson content in elementary schools.”

A previous version of the bill also created a statewide list of books banned by schools. That measure was dropped, but the bill now requires all books to be age-appropriate, which it defines to mean they cannot include descriptions of sexual activity.

Democrats said the bill goes against intellectual freedom and creates a stigma around talking about LGBTQ students and families.

It passed the Senate 34-16 on party lines and now goes to the House.

March 22

Reynolds signs two bills targeting trans youth into law

Posted March 23, 2023 at 8:35 AM CDT

Transgender kids in Iowa are now barred from starting gender-affirming medical treatments and from using K-12 school bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed those two bills into law on Wednesday.

The use of puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery for gender transition is now banned for minors. Those already receiving such care have 180 days to end their treatment in Iowa.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Reynolds said she believes she’s protecting trans kids from inconclusive science and unknown long-term physical effects. Opponents say these laws are bad for trans kids’ mental health and will make them less safe.

Read the full story.

March 16

Bill barring trans Iowans from using school bathroom matching their gender identity sent to Reynolds’ desk

Posted March 23, 2023 at 8:33 AM CDT

Republicans in the Iowa House sent a bill to the governor’s desk on March 16 to ban transgender Iowans from using school bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

The bill would leave unisex single occupancy bathrooms as one of the only options for trans students in K-12 schools.

Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, says the bill tries to be sensitive to trans students by listing accommodations that can be made.

“But what about the legitimate concerns — safety concerns and privacy concerns — of our daughters who don’t want to change clothes in front of a biological male, or our young men who don’t want to change clothes in front of females.”

Rep. Elinor Levin, D-Iowa City, says trans kids just want to be able to use the bathroom like everyone else and don’t want to hurt anyone.

“We are accepting the false narrative that there is a problem so that we can sweep in and be heroes, all while disregarding that our trans kids are the ones who face harassment and even violence as a result. I am asking you, personally, please do not do this to them.”

The bill will take effect immediately after the governor signs it into law.

March 8

Bill banning gender-affirming medical care for trans youth sent to Reynolds’ desk

Posted March 8, 2023 at 5:05 PM CST
A crowd gathers at the iowa statehouse in support of LGBTQ rights
Katarina Sostaric
IPR News
Iowans gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday to protest anti-LGBTQ bills, including one banning gender-affirming care for minors.

Gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors would be banned under a bill Iowa House Republicans sent to the governor’s desk on Wednesday.

Five Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against the bill.

It would ban puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy and surgeries for trans minors. Major American medical organizations support such treatment.

Rep. Steve Holt, R-Denison, says while there’s data “on both sides,” he believes it shows these treatments put children on a path of lifelong struggle.

“It is hard to conclude that parents in Iowa are being given the facts they need to make an informed decision, or their struggling children have the judgment to consent to life-altering procedures. These children are struggling with gender dysphoria. They are struggling and they are confused.”

Democrats say the bill is discriminatory and would put the lives of trans youth at risk. They say the policy goes against Republicans’ focus on expanding rights for parents, because it removes the rights of parents to decide the best medical care for their kids.

Read the full story here.

March 8

Second protest held at Iowa Capitol in response to anti-LBGTQ bills

Posted March 8, 2023 at 2:48 PM CST
A crowd gathers at the iowa statehouse in support of LGBTQ rights
Katarina Sostaric
IPR News
Iowans gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday to protest anti-LGBTQ bills, including one banning gender-affirming care for minors.

Iowans came to the state capitol on Wednesday for the second protest this week against anti-LGBTQ bills making their way through the Legislature.

A ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors could become law in the next few days. GOP lawmakers are also trying to restrict what school bathrooms transgender students can use and are working to ban school lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Community organizer Jo Allen says these bills are focused on expelling trans people from public life.

“Those most impacted by these laws have been and will always be trans. That is not going to change. And despite the bills you put out against us, we will continue to be our most authentic, trans selves.”

Allen says trans youth deserve the same love and protection as everyone else.

March 7

Senate passes bill requiring all school bathrooms to be assigned to one sex only

Posted March 8, 2023 at 9:47 AM CST

Transgender students would not be allowed to use bathrooms according to their gender identity under a bill (SF 482) passed by the Iowa Senate Tuesday night.

Sen. Chris Cournoyer, R-LeClaire, voted in favor of the bill.

She says she’s heard from some parents who don’t want their cisgender daughters to have to use the same restroom as trans girls.

“We need to ensure that all students feel safe in our schools so they can focus on learning. We cannot sacrifice the rights and privacy of some students to accommodate the rights and privacy of others.”

Democrats opposed to the bill say it makes schools less welcoming to transgender children. It passed 33-16 on party lines.

March 7

Senate passes bill to ban gender-affirming health care for trans youth

Posted March 8, 2023 at 9:47 AM CST

Transgender children and teens would lose access to gender-affirming health care under a bill passed by the Iowa Senate Tuesday night.

The bill (SF 538) bans doctors from aiding a medical transition with surgery or hormone therapy. Any minors receiving treatments now would have to stop within 180 days.

Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, opposed the bill and says canceling hormone treatments could increase depression and the risk of suicide among trans youth.

“Being forced, at the age of 16 or 17, to rapidly — by order of the state government — be withdrawn from that hormone therapy is going to have potentially catastrophic consequences.”

Sen. Jeff Edler, R-State Center, says the state should restrict gender-affirming care to protect minors.

The bill passed 33-16 on party lines with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats against.

March 5

LGBTQ rights rally held outside state Capitol 

Posted March 6, 2023 at 10:01 AM CST
People hold signs in support of LGBTQ rights at a rally in Des Moines
Madeleine Charis King
More than a thousand Iowans gathered at the Capitol to protest anti-LGBTQ bills moving forward in the legislature.

More than a thousand people rallied outside the Statehouse on Sunday in support of LGBTQ rights. Several held signs protesting anti-LGBTQ bills that have been moving forward in the Legislature.

Republican state lawmakers are trying to ban transgender youth from getting gender-affirming care and from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity. They’re also seeking to restrict books and curriculum that deal with LGBTQ topics.

Aime Wichtendahl, Iowa’s first openly transgender elected official, who serves on the Hiawatha City Council, says conservative groups like Moms for Liberty, who are pushing for these policies, are trying to redefine the word “liberty.”

“Liberty is not about banning books. Liberty isn’t about being bathroom cops. Liberty isn’t putting the government between you and your doctor.”

Other bills would require school officials to tell a student’s parents if they’re trans.

Ames High School student David Lee says GOP lawmakers are acting out of fear and anger.

“You fear us. You fear how the world may change if you can’t control our education, our identities and our will to fight. And yes we are angry, frustrated by your refusal to hear us when students across the state are being vulnerable with you by sharing their stories, expressing their pain and you don’t listen to our voices, much less engage in meaningful dialogue with us.”

But Lee says they’re acting out of love, and that they’ll keep fighting for LGBTQ rights.

Read the full story here.

March 2

House Speaker questioned on parental choice bill decisions as proposal to ban gender-affirming care advances 

Posted March 3, 2023 at 10:18 AM CST

The Iowa House has joined the Senate in advancing a bill out of committee that prohibits doctors from providing minors with gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers or surgery. The proposal is now eligible for debate in both chambers.

House Speaker Pat Grassley was asked by reporters on Thursday why Republican leaders are moving to ban gender-affirming procedures approved by parents, while backing other proposals meant to reinforce parents’ rights.

Grassley said he considers them separate issues.

“Part of why we are here, where we are today, is I was surprised to find out that some of our major health care providers in the state were actually doing this when we inquired about it. I think there was a level of surprise amongst the members of our caucus.”

House Democrats say the proposed ban makes Iowa a hostile place for LGBTQ families and will also make it harder to recruit new workers and businesses from out of state.

March 2

Bill that would ban gender-affirming health care for trans youth passes out of committee

Posted March 2, 2023 at 4:06 PM CST
Iowa'c Capitol during the late afternoon
John Pemble / IPR
Iowa'c Capitol during the late afternoon

A Republican proposal that would ban gender-affirming health care for minors has passed out of a Senate committee ahead of a legislative deadline.

Under the bill, Iowa doctors would be banned from providing transgender youth with hormone treatments or surgery.

Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, told the Health and Human Services Committee the bill interferes with families making difficult medical decisions.

“This bill takes away Iowa family rights, freedoms and choices. It bans them from having a chance to live the gender they themselves know to be on the inside.”

Health and Human Services Chair, Rep. Jeff Edlger, R-State Center, compared the proposed ban to laws against minors using tobacco and alcohol.

He says it should be regulated to protect young Iowans, although gender-affirming care is supported by medical organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A similar bill is pending in the House Judiciary Committee.

Read the full story here.

March 2

House committee approves ‘deadnaming’ bill

Posted March 2, 2023 at 12:50 PM CST

A bill that would protect teachers who use the wrong name or pronouns for a student (HF 367) passed out of the House Education Committee Wednesday.

LGBTQ advocates have resisted the bill because it could allow a teacher or classmate to insist on using a transgender student’s “deadname,” the birth name that they used before affirming their gender identity, without consequence.

The proposal prohibits school districts from taking any disciplinary action against an employee or student for not using the name a student wants to be called, if they use the student’s legal name instead.

Rep. Heather Matson, D-Ankeny, said schools should expect teachers and students to show each other the respect of using their preferred names.

“We’re talking a lot in this building about the importance of parents and if this bill doesn’t even give parents the opportunity to say, ‘This is what we want for our child and how we would like you to address our child,’ then I have major concerns with this bill.”

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Henry Stone, R-Forest City, said students and teachers should not be punished if they are not comfortable using a student’s preferred name.

“Teachers, students and staff members shouldn’t have to walk around the halls of their schools wondering if they don’t use the correct name then they will be called out and shamed, put in detention or suspended, given written reprimands that go in their file, suspended from employment or even worse — fired from being a teacher.”

The bill was amended to give a school employee legal recourse if they are terminated because of the name they use for a student. It passed 15-8 on party lines to move on to the full Iowa House.

March 1

Students walk out against anti-LGBTQ legislation

Posted March 1, 2023 at 4:29 PM CST
A very large group of Central Campus students walk out of class in Des Moines.
Madeleine Charis King
Students on the Central Campus in Des Moines walkout Wednesday afternoon in opposition to the quickly growing list of bills introduced in the state legislature that target LGBTQ people.

Students in about three dozen schools across Iowa walked out of their classrooms on Wednesday.

Outside West Liberty High, a crowd of 50 students gathered around the flagpole decrying the growing list of bills introduced in the state Legislature that target LGBTQ people, and particularly transgender students.

Lily Ceron, 17, is a senior at Liberty High School. Ceron says they first heard about this legislation on Snapchat from organizers of the walkout and felt the need to do something.

“I’ve been hearing about how Iowa’s been trying to push all these anti-gay, anti-trans laws and it’s really important to speak up about them because sometimes others are too scared to speak up.”

This year’s bills include one that requires teachers to inform parents about students asking to use different pronouns in the classroom. Another would eliminate same-sex marriage in Iowa.

March 1

Senate bathroom bill passes out of committee

Posted March 1, 2023 at 3:00 PM CST
The entrance to the Senate chamber
Madeleine Charis King
IPR file photo
A bill advancing in the Iowa Senate would require parents to give consent for a school to use a gender affirming name for a transgender student, while a House bill would stop a school from disciplining a teacher who uses a name different from what a student prefers.

A bill in the Iowa Senate that would effectively ban transgender students from using the bathroom that fits their gender expression passed in the Education Committee Wednesday, meaning the bill has beaten a deadline this week in order to remain viable for the time being in this legislative session.

The Senate bill (SF 335), requires public schools to limit restrooms and changing areas such as locker rooms to one sex only. As an alternative, transgender students would be allowed, with a parent’s consent, to request permission to use a single occupancy restroom.

Sen. Molly Donahue, D-Cedar Rapids, said as an educator she has never encountered problems with a school’s bathroom policy, but thinks the bill could create unintended problems in other parts of school.

“You have show choirs that have to change clothes and are in varying degrees of undress behind the scenes, males and females. It’s not just the bathrooms. This is about attacking people who are not like whoever you want them to be.”

Sen. Cherielynn Westrich, R-Ottumwa, said passing the bill is a matter of ensuring privacy.

“The intent of this bill is to protect the privacy rights and safety of all kids. I believe that’s exactly what this is going to do. It’s going to include all children and it’s going to keep them all safe and protect their right to privacy.”

The bill passed on a party line vote of 11-5 to move on to the full Senate.

A competing version of the bill in the House (HSB 214) that makes single-sex bathrooms optional for schools has yet to come up in the Judiciary Committee.

March 1

House, Senate advancing bills that would ban gender-affirming care for trans youth

Posted March 1, 2023 at 2:07 PM CST
A student wearing a trans flag as a cape walks out of class with their classmates.
Madeleine Charis King
Students walked out of class on March 1 in response to several anti-LGBTQ bills moving in the Iowa Legislature.

The Iowa House and Senate are advancing bills that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

It follows similar measures that have passed this year in states like South Dakota and Utah.

The bills bar doctors from providing any care for minors that would affirm their transgender identity, including hormone therapy, hormone blockers or surgery.

Iowa City parent Karen Butler says she and her husband approved surgery for their 16-year-old child who identifies as nonbinary. She opposes the bill because it would have stopped what she considers a lifesaving decision.

“Ultimately, we knew it was the right thing to do for our child, but in the end in our sacred and legal duty as parents, we made the choice.”

Supporters of the bill say kids should finish puberty before they can decide to make a medical transition.

The bills moved out of House and Senate subcommittees just one day after being introduced.

Read the full story here.

Feb. 28

Students to walk out in response to anti-LGBTQ bills

Posted March 1, 2023 at 2:01 PM CST

Students in several school districts across Iowa are planning to walk out of class on Wednesday in response to the quickly growing list of bills introduced in the state legislature that target LGBTQ people.

The walkouts are being promoted by Iowa WTF and Iowa Queer Student Alliance, but are organized by students.

Allison Toro, a sophomore at West Liberty High, is planning to walk out.

“It’s important to support and help the community and to show your support because some people don't have much support and then when you walk out, they feel seen.”

This year’s bills range from making it easier to remove certain books from school libraries to banning gender-affirming care for transgender kids.

Feb. 28

Bill would let schools to prohibit trans students from using bathroom of matching gender identity

Posted March 1, 2023 at 2:01 PM CST

A bill moving to the House Judiciary Committee (HSB 208) would allow schools to prohibit a transgender student from using a bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity.

Opponents of the bill say it sends the message that transgender students are not equal to their classmates.

Lily Bjorklund, a second-grader in Ankeny, told a House subcommittee that using the bathroom as a transgender girl does not cause the problems some think it does.

“I think you are confused about what happens in second grade bathrooms. No one is hurting each other in there. I’m not hurting anyone in there. We just go to the bathroom and wash our hands, that’s how easy it is. It doesn’t matter what sex I was born as because that’s not who I am now.”

The bill says if a school limits bathrooms to only one sex, it must provide an alternative such as access to a single-person bathroom.

Supporters say allowing a transgender student to use a bathroom based on their gender identity violates the privacy of cisgender students.

A related bill goes before an Iowa Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.

Read the full story here.

Feb. 24

Bill would protect teachers who don’t use trans students preferred name, pronouns in classroom

Posted March 1, 2023 at 2:00 PM CST
Iowa trans live rally
Madeleine Charis King

LGBTQ students, parents and activists told a House subcommittee Thursday that a bill advancing in the Iowa Legislature would protect teachers who disrespect transgender students in their classrooms.

The bill (HF 367) prohibits schools from disciplining teachers who call a student by something other than their preferred name or pronouns, like using the student’s legal name.

Andy Sutton of Ankeny says that runs counter to another House proposal that says parents can give consent for transgender students to change their name and pronouns at school.

“This bill implies that you only want to honor some parents’ rights, not all. This legislation not only ignores the notion of all parents’ rights, it continues the marginalization of trans youth.”

Rep. Heath Stone, R-Forest City, says the bill is meant to defend teachers who hold different views on gender identity.

The bill was passed on to the full House Education Committee.

Feb. 24

Republicans considering legislation to restrict gender-affirming medical care for trans youth

Posted March 1, 2023 at 1:59 PM CST

Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, says House Republicans are considering legislation to restrict gender-affirming medical care for transgender kids and teens.

His comments to reporters on Thursday came shortly before the House Government Oversight Committee held a hearing to ask questions of doctors who provide gender-affirming care.

During the hearing, Katie Imborek, co-director of the LGBTQ clinic at UIHC, said care for transgender minors follows guidelines from leading medical institutions and is done under the supervision of a team of medical professionals – and always with parental consent.

When asked how her patients would be affected if there were laws preventing treatment, Imborek says she feels there could be devastating consequences.

“Some of them have been able to really do wonderful things, like go back to school, feel like they can look in the mirror, feel like they can take a shower, feel like they finally are validating who they really are.”

Other advocates for LGBTQ Iowans point out that gender-affirming care is supported by all major American medical organizations. They say restricting such care would be dangerous because it would exacerbate the mental health crisis among Iowa’s transgender youth.

Read the full story here.

Feb. 16

Pence visits Iowa in support of parents suing school for transgender-affirming policies

Posted March 1, 2023 at 1:58 PM CST

Former Vice President Mike Pence was in Iowa Wednesday supporting parents who have sued a Cedar Rapids-area school district for its transgender affirming policies. 

Pence’s visit comes as Republican presidential hopefuls test the waters a year ahead of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Pence was in Cedar Rapids the same day a federal appeals court in Minnesota heard arguments by a group representing parents of students in the Linn-Mar Community School District. The parents sued over a policy adopted last year allowing students there to ask to use a gender-affirming name or pronouns without including their parents.

“We're asking the court to end this dangerous and degrading policy and restore sanity and the primitive role of parents in schools. Not just here in Iowa, but all across America.”

Outside the Pizza Ranch, over 50 protesters peacefully gathered in support of trans kids. Hiawatha city council member Aime Wichtendahl was among the crowd.

“All the Republican politicians just beat up on trans kids to be divisive to and get the votes of the base and it’s absolutely disgusting, and it’s harmful both to our state and country. And not only to the kids involved too…. lives are at stake here.”

Republicans will start their presidential nominating process in Iowa next year with its caucuses. Pence did not say he was running. However, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that she’s running and will be in Iowa on Monday.

Feb. 15

Parents suing Linn-Mar schools ask federal appeals court to block district policy for transgender students

Posted March 1, 2023 at 1:58 PM CST

A group of parents suing Linn-Mar schools went before a federal appeals court in St. Paul, Minn., on Wednesday to ask to block a district policy for transgender students. The same request was denied by a lower court last fall.

Under the policy, students could ask to use a gender-affirming name or pronouns without involving their parents.

In the appeals court hearing, an attorney for the conservative group Parents Defending Education argued parents have a constitutional right to know when their child is discussing their gender identity at school.

An attorney representing Linn-Mar says the policy gives older students more authority in creating gender support plans, but their parents still have a right to access any of their educational records.

No immediate decision was made in the case.

The rules adopted by Linn-Mar have played into both state and national politics.

Former Vice President Mike Pence joined a rally in Cedar Rapids Wednesday afternoon in support of parents challenging the Linn-Mar district.

Feb. 13

Another bill advances prohibiting teaching gender identity, sexual orientation in schools

Posted March 1, 2023 at 1:57 PM CST

A proposal in the Iowa House (HF 8) would ban instruction, class materials and school activities from discussing LGBTQ issues in kindergarten through third grade.

Supporters who testified at a House subcommittee said only parents should talk with kids about gender identity and asked lawmakers to extend the ban to middle or high school.

Kristian Maul, a transgender man from Urbandale, says his parents always shut down those conversations. He says schools should be a place for LGBTQ youth to feel welcome.

“Look, I was never taught about gender identity in elementary, middle or even high school and yet I’m transgender. The only thing this bill will accomplish is to further isolate and marginalize any child who is not heterosexual or cisgender.”

The bill advanced out of the subcommittee with support from Republican lawmakers. Next it goes to the House Education Committee.

Feb. 9

Pence group to run ads in Iowa against school trans policies

Posted March 1, 2023 at 1:57 PM CST

Former Vice President Mike Pence is stepping up his outreach in Iowa ahead of a possible 2024 presidential campaign by rallying conservatives against transgender-affirming policies in schools, like one adopted in an eastern Iowa district last year.

The effort by Advancing American Freedom, a group Pence formed in 2021 and financed by his supporters, will include digital ads, rallies, canvassing and perhaps radio and television spots. It comes as a federal court in Minnesota is scheduled next week to hear a case brought by a group representing parents of students in Linn-Mar Community School District outside Cedar Rapids.

“The strength of our nation is tied to the strength of our families, and we cannot stand idly by as the radical left attempts to indoctrinate our children behind parents’ backs. Advancing American Freedom will not rest until parental rights are restored in Iowa and across the nation.”

The Linn-Mar board last year adopted a policy allowing students to request a gender support plan to begin socially transitioning at school and without the permission of their parents. The group representing the parents is suing to overturn the policy.

The planned budget for the effort is more than $1 million, and the push is expected to last several months, according to an anonymous Pence aide.

School policy, notably involving gender identification and sexual orientation, has become an early focus of 2024 Republican presidential prospects. The issue is particularly relevant in Iowa, given both the court case and the Republican-controlled Legislature advancing legislation barring schools from supporting a student’s social change in gender identity.

Pence’s outreach comes before a trip to the early-voting state to headline an event next Wednesday in Cedar Rapids. Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, is planning to campaign across Iowa after announcing her 2024 campaign, while South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson are expected to visit Iowa later in the month.

Jan. 31

Bill advanced that would bar Iowa schools from teaching gender identity before high school

Posted March 1, 2023 at 1:54 PM CST

Republicans on a Senate panel advanced a bill Tuesday that would bar Iowa schools from including gender identity in kindergarten through 8th grade curriculum and instruction.

Pam Gronau, an Urbandale resident, says she supports the bill.

“As a Christian family, our belief is that God created man and woman. The Bible is the only history my family needs when discussing God’s creation. The opposition will try to portray us as being anti-LGBTQ, but that simply is not true. I just want to be able to discuss these matters at home with my children in the way that I see fit as it is my God-given right to do.”

Transgender kids and their parents say stifling conversations about gender identity will lead to more bullying and mental health issues for LGBTQ students.

House Republicans advanced a separate bill Tuesday that would ban schools from affirming a transgender student’s identity without written consent from their parents.

Read the full story here.