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Transgender ‘bathroom bill’ introduced in Iowa House, though support lags

Iowa House Republicans introduced a bill Wednesday that would protect schools and businesses that choose to limit transgender people's access to restrooms.

House File 2164 seeks to rewrite portions of the Iowa Civil Rights Act, which grants transgender Iowans legal protections against discrimination in education, employment, housing and other public accommodations based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

...The argument that this type of bill protects women and girls from sexual violence is a “fallacy,” said Kerri True-Funk, associate director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Transgender women themselves are “at a high risk” for sexual violence due to their gender identity, True-Funk said.

And sexual assaults are most often perpetrated by people already known to the victim, she added.

“The scenarios that some legislators have suggested perpetuate dangerous stereotypes of strangers hiding in bathrooms or jumping out of bushes, rather than addressing the underlying issue of sexual assault head-on,” True-Funk said. “Legislation like HF 2164 does nothing to make survivors (of sexual violence) safer.”

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