During a recent stop in Iowa, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke about some of the outrageous acts recently taken by Republican elected officials in that state and elsewhere, specifically including the measures that have threatened LGBTQ+ youth.
Iowa legislators even formulated their own set of restrictions on discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in schools, limits that here apply from kindergarten through grade 6. That bill also said “if any student asks for gender affirming accommodations at school, a parent must be informed,” as recapped by Iowa Public Radio, and putting that plan into action could threaten the security and even safety of LGBTQ+ young people without supportive parents. The restrictions on classroom discussion apply to public and charter schools in the state. Iowa has also enacted a ban on providing gender-affirming care to minors, despite the many medical organizations that back its safety and effectiveness.
“Here we are in Cedar Rapids, working on making life a little easier for airline passengers. And they’re over there in Des Moines working on making life a little harder for LGBTQ high-schoolers,” Buttigieg observed to gathered reporters, making a straightforward observation that is nonetheless lost on a lot of people. “Of all the things you could do, with the power, the trust, and the resources that are put in your hands as an elected official, why wouldn’t you be concentrating more on building roads and bridges and fixing up airports and making insulin more affordable and helping veterans and all the other things that we’re doing as an administration?”
And yet, the threats continue. Other legislative pushes have included the familiar Republican interest in blocking transgender individuals from using the bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, at least in certain contexts, like the government buildings covered by such a ban recently signed by Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis. The restrictions in Florida on classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity have also been extended to all grades before college, and DeSantis has also enacted substantial blocks to using students’ accurate personal pronouns in schools with a ban on policies mandating the kind of accuracy that would match individuals’ actual gender identities regardless of their birth sex.
Republicans also continue protecting the framework for parents to lodge challenges to books available in local schools — a system under which titles can be removed from access for everyone because of one person’s complaints.
Watch Buttigieg below:
While visiting an airport improvement project in Cedar Rapids, @PeteButtigieg is asked about anti-LGTQ rights bills in Iowa and red states across the country pic.twitter.com/eei9gvk6yG
— chyea ok (@chyeaok) May 25, 2023