House bill seeking to remove gender-identity protections fails in committee
(ABC 6 News) – At the Iowa Capitol, an effort to remove gender identity as a protected class under the state’s civil right’s act has failed tonight.
The bill’s author argues that the gender identity clause is not well defined. Unanswered legal questions creates an environment for discrimination, and opens up Iowans to retaliation.
Supports of the bill say the solution is to remove gender identity as a protected class and instead qualify it as a disability.
“The people of District 87 believe that the social theory of gender-identity more closely resembles a physical and mental impairment, i.e. a disability,” said Rep. Jeff Shipley (R). “Rather than a[n] immutable or inherent characteristic distinguished as its own protected class.”
As for opponents, they say removing any protections is concerning and forces transgender people and other groups to prove that they’re “disabled.”
“Somebody facing discrimination shouldn’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops just to be declared just to get justice,” said Charlie Wishman, the president of Iowa’s AFL-CIO.
The bill failed to get a vote of support, and will not be considered by the full house.