Proposed Iowa legislation could affect the LGBTQ community

BY: TIMOTHY TINDLE (LCTV)

Legislative action involving the LGBTQ community is taking place within the state of Iowa.

The legislative branch of the Iowa General Assembly is always busy proposing, debating, and determining state laws. The topic of the LGBTQ community is a repeating topic. In January alone, four legislative bills were proposed to the General Assembly concerning the health and protection of people within the LGBTQ community.

Two of those bills address the practice of conversion therapy which is act of trying to one’ sexual orientation to another. Ways of performing this therapy includes psychological or physical methods. However, these methods have proven to be ineffective and, sometimes, damaging to one’s physical and mental health.

House File 193, brought forth by State Representative Sandy Salmon, proposes protections for youth counselors providing conversion therapy. While at the same time penalizing medical care professionals for providing healthcare related to gender transformation for minors. In essence, HF 193 encourages the use of conversion therapy to prevent youths from transitioning between genders.

In turn, House File 120, brought forth by Damian Thompson of Iowa Safe Schools, proposes that gender identity and gender expression should be added as protected classes under Iowa’s Hate Crime Laws. Thompson describes conversion therapy as a “barbaric idea and physical practice that undergoes in Iowa and across the country and many states where the general idea is to change someone’s sexual orientation and gender identity, usually to straight or cisgender.”

One of Thompson’s reason’s for presenting this bill before the House are the results of the Trevor Project study which showed that 10% of all youth have been victimized by conversion therapy. The study also showed that 78% of adults or youths who underwent conversion therapy were victimized as minors. Thompson expresses that he, with his proposed bill, is “making sure our mandatory reporters in the state of Iowa, so educators, mental health professionals, law enforcement officers, and others, have the power to report conversion therapy under Iowa’s mandatory reporting laws so that the Department of Human Services can call it out for what it is: child abuse.”

The other two proposed bills include House File 187, also brought forth by Salmon, and Senate File 80, brought forth by State Senator Amy Sinclair. Salmon’s HF 187 involves banning trans youth and adults from using school restrooms, locker rooms, and other living facilities. Sinclair’s SF 80 proposes school employees to disclose minors’ sexual identity to their parents when questioning the pronoun of their child.

LCTV reached out to Salmon and Sinclair to comment on their ideas for their proposed bills. So far, neither of them responded.

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Studying for bachelor's degree at Loras College Received associate degree from Northeast Iowa Community College From Luxemburg, Iowa

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