Iowa bill would require schools tell parents before lessons touching on sexual orientation

Parents in Iowa may be allowed to excuse their kids from lessons involving LGBTQ issues, if a recently proposed bill progresses.The bill,...

Posted: Feb 14, 2020 10:35 AM
Updated: Feb 14, 2020 1:15 PM

Parents in Iowa may be allowed to excuse their kids from lessons involving LGBTQ issues, if a recently proposed bill progresses.

The bill, House File 2201, was introduced last month and has been advancing in the Iowa legislature. It's currently sitting in a House subcommittee. Sponsored by 13 House Republicans, it would require school districts to annually notify parents about any instruction regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. That would give them the chance to pull their children from participating and allowing them to inspect the materials used ahead of time.

It's one of 13 bills recently introduced in the Iowa state legislature that advocacy groups have described as discriminatory toward the LGBTQ community. Together, these bills represent a wide-ranging assault on LGBTQ Iowans' daily lives, according to One Iowa Action, a grassroots advocacy group for LGBTQ rights.

If passed, those bills would take actions such as prohibiting transgender athletes from competing on teams consistent with their gender identification and ban mental health professionals and doctors from providing care to transgender youth, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

A way to rectify parents' disagreements over the curriculum

Rep. Jeff Shipley, a Republican and one of the bill's co-sponsors, told CNN the bill was meant to bridge a gap between the parent and the school about the type of instruction the students receive. Many parents decide to home school their students because of disagreements with the curriculum, he said, and this was a way to rectify that.

He mentioned that maybe the bill should have been broader, so parents could 'view whatever curriculum that they want' and so as 'not to pick on anyone.'

But, he said this was a good start.

'Because there are so many unknowns (with gender identity and sexual orientation), it just seemed like common sense to make sure parents are involved,' he said. 'Because when parents aren't involved, they tend to get upset.'

Critics say it's 'overly vague'

Still, many advocacy groups have lobbied against the bill, including the ACLU of Iowa, the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund, the Iowa Conference of United Methodist Church and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa.

Veronica Fowler, the communications director of the ACLU of Iowa, called the bill 'overly vague' to CNN.

'Teachers, rightly, have raised concerns about what would and would not need parental approval, citing examples as fundamental as whether or not they could mention that presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is making history as an openly gay presidential candidate,' Fowler said in a statement.

She continued, 'The bill also would marginalize and discriminate against LGBTQ students by mandating that they and their sexual orientation or gender identity must be hidden and not discussed.'

Other groups, like One Iowa Action, have bluntly called the bill -- and others like it -- anti-LGBTQ.

'HF2201 would restrict educators from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity,' the group wrote on January 31. They called the bill 'uniquely dangerous' given its level of support in the House.

HF 2201 isn't the only bill critics are calling anti-LGBTQ

It's not the only proposed legislation that's drawing the ire of advocate groups.

HF 2202, which shares 12 co-sponsors with HF 2201, including Shipley, was also introduced in January, and would require high school students to participate in sports based on their biological sex.

The bill, One Iowa Action said, would allow discrimination against transgender athletes in Iowa schools.

All this comes amidst burgeoning state legislation politicizing LGBTQ identity.

For example, a slew of proposed bills in Tennessee have been criticized as detrimental to LGBTQ rights -- including one similar to Iowa's HF 2202 that would require student athletes to compete against athletes of the same biological sex. Another, commonly called 'the bathroom bill,' would require students, faculty and staff to only use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their biological sex.

These types of bills haven't necessarily seen great success. North Carolina's own 'bathroom bill' failed when businesses, entertainers and sports leagues boycotted the state. The bill was eventually repealed.

Just this month, a South Dakota bill aimed at limiting gender reassignment surgeries for transgender youth failed to garner the support it needed to pass.

Still, these types of bills continue to crop up, showing neither legislatures across the country nor LGBTQ advocacy groups are showing signs of backing away from the fight.

Huntsville
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Florence
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Fayetteville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 132452

Reported Deaths: 2335
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19230342
Mobile13192291
Montgomery8711175
Madison767475
Tuscaloosa7355114
Lee576560
Shelby576550
Baldwin512449
Marshall388943
Calhoun339040
Etowah338447
Morgan322626
Houston275322
Elmore258647
DeKalb237519
St. Clair225535
Walker225080
Talladega209927
Limestone202119
Cullman186819
Dallas176226
Franklin174828
Russell17302
Autauga171425
Lauderdale166233
Colbert162126
Blount157314
Escambia157325
Jackson152711
Chilton151328
Dale134143
Covington133427
Coffee12898
Pike11729
Chambers114042
Tallapoosa113984
Clarke106317
Marion95228
Butler91138
Barbour8487
Winston71812
Marengo70219
Lowndes65127
Pickens63914
Bibb63510
Randolph62413
Hale61628
Lawrence60320
Bullock59314
Geneva5844
Monroe5798
Cherokee57516
Clay5537
Washington54913
Perry5396
Conecuh53011
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw52532
Henry4805
Macon47920
Fayette4299
Sumter42319
Lamar3552
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3346
Greene30215
Coosa1673
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 185148

Reported Deaths: 2261
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30244449
Davidson26087294
Hamilton921189
Rutherford905888
Knox905273
Williamson509636
Sumner472193
Wilson338443
Putnam308838
Montgomery297143
Out of TN296825
Unassigned28916
Bradley286817
Madison275060
Sevier253715
Blount244923
Maury227423
Washington218634
Robertson217334
Sullivan207131
Hamblen183925
Tipton174517
Trousdale16517
Gibson154520
Hardeman153425
Wayne14856
Bedford131317
Dyer128712
Dickson120714
Cumberland115518
Fayette114418
Anderson113811
Henderson113520
Carter112728
Coffee112512
Weakley112219
Loudon11216
Greene111237
Obion10969
McMinn107624
Jefferson107414
Macon102320
Warren10127
Monroe100316
Lawrence97711
Hardin97214
Lauderdale94215
Franklin9267
Haywood92416
Lake9152
Roane8493
Bledsoe8454
Carroll83918
McNairy81618
Cheatham79310
Rhea78811
White7889
Hawkins77316
Cocke7369
Marshall7205
Overton6815
Smith67810
Johnson6492
Henry6079
Chester5959
Lincoln5811
Giles56917
DeKalb54713
Hickman5465
Crockett51319
Marion5047
Decatur4796
Fentress4473
Claiborne4384
Campbell4213
Polk38011
Grainger3543
Union3391
Benton3329
Jackson3085
Morgan3063
Unicoi2801
Cannon2790
Grundy2565
Humphreys2353
Sequatchie2233
Meigs2213
Clay2115
Scott2022
Houston1931
Lewis1791
Stewart1772
Moore1541
Van Buren1540
Perry1500
Hancock1063
Pickett1032

Community Events