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Iowa groups react to Governor's signing of bill restricting LGBTQ education, book choices

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Kid writing in school WZTV.PNG
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Friday Governor Kim Reynolds signed bill SF 496.

The law now bans education on gender identity and sexual orientation in grades K-6. The law now requires parents to give permission for a student to be identified with pronouns that differ from those assigned at birth.

The bill also opens the door for parents to challenge what books are available in school libraries. Critics call the measure an attack on the LGBTQ+ community and limiting what teachers can talk about with kids that have questions.

Supporters say the bill is about giving parents more control over their kids' education.

Opponents of the new law say this legislation will negativity impact the needs of Iowa students.

Iowa State Education Association

"...Governor Reynolds had an opportunity to support the thousands of great education professionals who work hard to educate, support, and elevate the students in their care. She chose not to exercise this power, and instead, cemented laws that are designed to intimidate, censor, and harm the educators and students who work in and attend our public schools.

We are disappointed that partisan politics and pressure from national anti-public education groups with cookie-cutter legislation is more important than the needs of the almost half-million students who will be negatively impacted,” said Iowa State Education Association President, Mike Beranek.

Iowa Safe Schools

“Senate File 496 is anti-child, anti-parent, and anti-educator,” said Becky Tayler, Executive Director for Iowa Safe Schools, who is available upon request. “With the stroke of a pen, Governor Reynolds has punctuated her crusade against LGBTQ youth this session. Her relentless attacks on the LGBTQ community have placed her shameful record adjacent to the infamous Anita Bryant & Fred Phelps.“

Interfaith Alliance of Iowa

“The majority of Iowans believe in the worth and dignity of all people and their fundamental civil and human rights. SF496, signed today by Governor Kim Reynolds, is not only contrary to those values but serves to trample on basic rights.

“Fair-minded and compassionate Iowans are disappointed in Iowa’s governor and Republican lawmakers that once again chose to target LGBTQ children and public school educators for political gain.

“SF496 will go down in history as one of the most mean-spirited and harmful bills ever to become Iowa law. Erasing the existence of LGBTQ children and families in school curriculum. Outing transgender children and potentially placing them in harms’ way. Eliminating the rights of parents and students by banning books. Disrespecting public school educators.

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“SF496 is part of a long list of damaging bills passed by Republican lawmakers this year that will cause great harm to Iowa’s children, families, and communities. Republican legislators and Governor Kim Reynolds carry the full responsibility for the harm done today and in the future – not only for Iowa’s LGBTQ community, but also to our state’s reputation that can no longer claim to be welcoming or Iowa nice. It is a sad day for Iowa.”

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