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Iowa House passes bill requiring students participating in sports to compete based on the sex at birth

DES MOINES – The Iowa House passed a controversial bill Monday requiring students participating in sports to compete based on the sex at birth, in an alleged attempt at “fairness” in girls’ sports.

Reaction to the advancing bill was swift from the left, as Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement in response to Iowa Republican House members voting to pass HF 2416:

“Every child deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. But the bill passed today by Iowa House Republicans bullies kids who are already more likely to be ostracized.Sports provide a sense of belonging, accomplishment, and build confidence. By banning transgender kids from playing sports with their friends, they lose the ability to learn teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership and self-discipline, like every other kid. There is simply no evidence substantiating the claim that including transgender children in school sports will make anything ‘less fair.’ The Republican legislators working on these bans have been repeatedly asked to provide examples of unfairness, and have failed to provide any. We know that transgender youth are already at a higher risk for depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide. Banning them from playing sports with their friends will only make things worse. Iowa’s Republican lawmakers should focus on passing legislation that invests in our schools and addresses Reynolds’ workforce crisis, instead of picking on children who just want to play sports with their friends. Trans children are children. They deserve to play with their friends and participate in activities like any other child.”

A North Iowa legislator in support of the bill, Rep. Henry Stone of Forest City, made a social media post Tuesday morning about the bill:

Mason City Democratic Rep. Sharon Steckman spoke “against the discriminatory transgender bill” and shared a social media post saying, “Transgender kids, like other students, deserve the same chances to learn teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership and self-discipline, and to build a sense of belonging with their peers.”

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