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  • Omar Waheed

The contradicting stance of Iowa politics on equality and freedom

This piece is partially an opinion from Alejandro Gomez originally written as satire.

Politicians are the oh so important backbone of America, they hold great power and must make difficult decisions that represent all their constituents fairly. With such a demanding job, it surely must be difficult to remain impartial and defect less with so much to take care of. An unfortunate blunder, Iowa lieutenant governor Kim Reynolds accidentally signed House File 2416 which bans transgender girls from competing in girls sporting competitions.

Governor Reynolds believes that “Iowa is a place of freedom and opportunity, small towns

and thriving cities. Where we reward work, value personal responsibility, and care for our neighbors.” Surely with such a strong belief in freedom and caring for others, the governor would never have signed a bill that discriminates against what is likely less than 800 children living in the state of Iowa, according to a study from the University of California, Los Angeles, unless her beliefs do not truly extend to all the residents that she serves.

Governor Reynolds has stated in the past that “the idea that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex” should not be taught in schools. Therefore, it is hard to believe that Reynolds would purposefully force transgender girls and women to compete against males. Some citizens are understandably very upset by the discriminatory bill signed by Reynolds.

Local gay political expert Sophie Savage had these words to share “Go to hell Kim Reynolds”. Iowa safe schools’ executive director Becky Smith was quoted as saying “This is state-sanctioned bullying, and we are greatly disappointed in the adults in the state capital that openly voted to discriminate against children”. While it would be appalling to think that governor Reynolds intended to discriminate against any Iowan, the signed bill may have been forged as can be seen by the signature of “Governor Reynolds” which appears it may have been written by a child.

Omar Waheed analyzes and continues off Gomez’s piece

A strong sense of feeling left out and uncared for, work and advocacy against House File (HF) 2416 has rippled out in Iowa. The palpable lack of care from the Iowa government was met with multiple rallies and protests across Iowa, one of the largest organized efforts in Iowa by Iowa State Alum Jo Allen, took place in front of the State Capitol building April 3; exactly one month after the bill was passed.

While the top was intended for satire, and at that could be interpreted as an opinion, the topic is well researched by Gomez and actively analyzes contradictory statements and actions from Governor Reynolds. Jokes in his piece aside, it had been decided as the person who also runs the Daily Diatribes, our satirical project from the Daily, the premise from Gomez, which punches up at a topic Iowans are divided on in calling abhorrent, is a vital and true stance that is met with a sharp support from Iowans and disregard from Iowa governmental leadership through the passing of HF 2416 that actively targets a small minority of Iowans.

Analyzing some of the points Gomez brings up in his comparative satirical piece, there seems to be a disconnect from Governmental leadership’s statements and actions.

Statements from Governor Reynolds like "the idea that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex, that the United States of America and the state of Iowa are fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist," stated big Governor Reynolds in passing HF 802 barring divisive topics from instruction, are directly contradictory to actions like passing HF 2416.

HF 2416, also in relation to Governor Reynolds quotes and Gomez’s analysis, contradicts her statements on “freedom and opportunity.”

The quotes from Governor Reynolds and the passing of HF 2416 shows a clear discourse for what is meant is that “superiority” being taught and “freedom and opportunity” applies only to heteronormative standards.

Gomez, like many others, attended the Trans Lives Rally at the Des Moines State Capitol.

The rally sported a large crowd as, people from all walks of life and generations came together to show that the issue surrounding transgender lives, primarily in Iowa, is often ignored by Iowa government and universal.

Stories shared and tears shed, speakers at the rally actively advocated that despite a huge step back was taken in transgender rights, organizations like The Iowa Trans Mutual Aid are there still to support transgender Iowans no matter the action and stance Iowa’s government takes.

Efforts from organizations protecting and supporting LGBTQIA+ identities are now pressed to push even harder as anti-LGBTQIA+ bills are passed.

Headlines are being made nationally as anti-LGBTQIA+ bills are being passed at a staggering rate compared to previous years. 2022 alone already has seen nearly 240 bills passed, totaling to more than one per day so far for the current year, according to research from the American Civil Liberties Union. Most bills have been targeted at transgender rights; 2022 has already surpassed 2021’s total of 191 bills passed.

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