CLINTON — Several bills introduced into the Iowa House and Senate deal with gender issues, including one that would link bathroom use in schools to a person’s biological sex.
Introduced by Jim Carlin, Republican Senator for Iowa’s 3rd District, Senate File 224 passed out of subcommittee Wednesday.
The bill requires that a school designate toilet facilities for people of the same biological sex and forbids people from entering bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex.
It also provides that requiring people to use toilets that correspond with their biological sex is not unfair or discriminatory and does not violate the Iowa Civil Rights Act, Code Chapter 216.
The Clinton School District currently makes arrangements for transgender students on a case-by-case basis, said Superintendent Gary DeLacy. The district considers the comfort level of the student and comes up with a plan with the family.
DeLacy said the school makes sure that students using bathrooms that don’t correspond with their biological sex are sufficiently covered when using bathrooms designated for the opposite sex.
“We’re just talking less than a handful [of students] in the district,” DeLacy said. “Most of our adult bathrooms are unisex. ... That may be an option that we use with the student.”
“I would be interested to see how the federal law would merge with the state law,” said Camanche School Superintendent Tom Parker. “My hope would be they are taking into consideration the implication it has for school districts that are following federal law.”
The district has to follow its own policy as well, said Parker. “I do know that we have policy in place that indicates we won’t discriminate against people on the basis of [many] things ... and gender identity is one of those.”
Currently the school district makes decisions about bathroom usage on a case-by-case basis, Parker said. He declined to say how many students in the district would be affected by a change in the law.
House File 326, introduced Feb. 2 by Republican Jeff Shipley of Fairfield, who represents House District 82, requires school districts that offer curricula that includes information about gender identity include the existence of transition regret and de-transition, and the potential harm and adverse outcomes of social and medical gender intervention.
The bill was referred to the Education Committee.
House File 327, also introduced by Shipley, forbids physicians from performing any treatment or intervention on the sex characteristics of a minor diagnosed with gender dysphoria unless the physician provides written or oral disclosure to all parents or legal guardians of the minor and receives consent from all parents or legal guardians of the minor.
The bill requires that physicians provide a description of the treatment or intervention, including health care management or long-term follow-up care. Physicians must describe any attendant discomfort and risks to the minor in the short and long term, including irreparable or irreversible harm or limitations regarding future fertility or development or construction of female-typical or male-typical characteristics, which may follow the treatment or intervention.
The bill also requires that a practitioner who counsels a minor regarding gender dysphoria treatment or intervention disclose all known and documented adverse events relating to treatment options.
Violations could result in discipline, suspension and civil penalties from $10,000 to $25,000.
The bill was referred to the Human Resources Committee.
Shipley also introduced House File 340 which provides that, if in conflict, rights provided on the basis of sex under the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 have priority over the rights afforded based on the person’s gender identity, particularly if the right provided on the basis of sex is claimed by a woman.
The bill defines a woman as a person born with female genitalia and reproductive organs. Current law defines gender identify as the gender-related identity of the person regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth.
The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
House File 272 would remove gender identity as a protected class under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
The bill was introduced Jan. 28 by Republicans Dean Fisher, representing House District 72; Skyler Wheeler, representing House District 4; Mark Cisneros, representing House District 91; and Sandy Salmon, representing House District 63. It was referred to the Judiciary Committee.