Iowa ACLU, 7 families file suit against law banning LGBTQ+ representation in schools

ACLU, Families File Suit to Block SF 496

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(ABC 6 News) – The Iowa ACLU, Lambda Legal, law firm Jenner & Block LLP, nonprofit organization Iowa Safe Schools, and seven Iowa families filed a suit Tuesday, Nov. 28, in an attempt to block SF 496 from officially taking effect Jan. 1, 2024.

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The bill passed the Iowa legislature with no Democrat support. It passed the Iowa Senate on a 34-16 vote on April 19, and the Iowa House on a 57-38 vote on April 20.

SF 496 bans books with any sexual or LGBTQ+ content from schools, prevents teachers and staff from mentioning or discussing gender or sexual identity, and removes curriculum in grades 7 through 12 regarding HPV, the availability of HPV vaccines, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

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The law also requires school staff to report students to their parents or guardians, or to the Department of Human Services if the student asks to use a name or pronouns other than the ones on their birth certificate.

“This reporting is required regardless of whether it violates a student’s expectation of confidentiality, professional ethical obligations, or whether the school official knows that the student would be rendered unsafe, kicked out of their home, or subject to abuse as a result,” the ACLU of Iowa’s statement read.

ACLU staff attorney Thomas Story said the organization hopes to be granted an injunction blocking SF 496 while the lawsuit is moving through the Iowa court system.

Read the full press release and statements from Iowa families involved with the lawsuit here.