A bit of good news for a change. The last day for bills to have a full committee hearing in Iowa is today, March 5th. That means every anti-transgender and anti-gay bill, 15 in all, died today for lack of a full committee hearing.
The other good news is that a bipartisan bill to ban the gay/trans panic defense had a full committee hearing on January, 14th so it is still alive and kicking.
Legislation “short-circuited” by COVID-19 has been reintroduced that would prevent a defendant from using a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity as a mitigating factor if charged with murder or any violent crime The Gazette reports.
House Study Bill 11 was approved unanimously by the House in 2020, but the Legislature suspended its session a week later because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was never taken up by the Senate.
“As I said last year, it is absolutely insane to think you could kill someone simply because of their sexual orientation,” said Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, who again is managing the bill. In fact, he called it an “unspeakably asinine defense” last year.
If you live in Iowa and want to contact your Senator by using the form they talked about in the video above you can do so by clicking here
See the full list of the failed LGBT legislation by clicking here.
Another contentious bill was one that would require transgender Iowans to use the bathroom according to the sex on their birth certificate. The measure, along with several other bills advocates say are “anti-LGBTQ“, historically have not made it far in the legislative process.
Rep. Dustin Hite, R-New Sharon, chairs the House Education Committee and said he does not have plans to give that bill a hearing in the final meeting Wednesday.
“The reason I haven’t assigned them a subcommittee is not because I don’t understand the issues of the proponents of those bills but I also understand the issues on the other sides of those bills,” Hite said on Iowa Press. “We have to be extremely careful that we don’t come across as hateful.”
Additionally, Rep. Holt, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told WHO 13 News that he does have any intention of bringing a bill that would strip gender identity from the Iowa Civil Rights Act to his committee for a vote.
The 1619 Project bill
WHO 13 previously reported on a bill that would ban the New York Times’ The 1619 Project from being taught in Iowa schools. The 1619 Project aims to reevaluate how slavery contributed to the founding of the United States. The bill got a lot of attention, but it is likely dead.
“There’s concern that us dictating what schools shouldn’t teach maybe starts to get out of line,” Hite said on Iowa Press.