The Iowa Senate Education Committee is advancing its own version of a bill that would forbid transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports.
The Senate proposal includes sports at community colleges and the three state universities as well as public and non-public K-through-12 schools.
Roshna Mishra is a junior at Lincoln High in Des Moines who testified against the bill at a subcommittee hearing. “There’s no place for politics regarding children’s physical and mental health,” she said. “Trans children are still just children who want to feel protected and feel seen and feel included.”
Holly Branian, a senior at Carlisle High School, told lawmakers the bill would create a level playing field. “No girl should ever have to be sidelined because of a biologically male individual,” she said. “No girl should ever be made out to feel like her hard work doesn’t matter.”
Last spring, Governor Kim Reynolds called on legislators to pass a law limiting girls’ and women’s sports to those who are identified as female on their birth certificate. At least nine states have passed similar laws. Critics say the laws discriminate against a small group of students who are at greater risk of depression and suicide.
(By Grant Gerlock, Iowa Public Radio)