Hundreds at Iowa House hearing on bill with gender definitions

DES MOINES — The Iowa House Education Committee held a public hearing early Monday evening on the governor’s bill that defines man and woman in Iowa law and would allow public facilities to separate men and women based on their gender at birth.

Courtney Collier of Waukee told lawmakers the bill is based on common sense. “People can, however, choose to live delusion or confusion in their own life and home,” she said, “but the rest of us should not be forced to join them.”

Alexandra Gray of Des Moines told lawmakers the bill is like something from a dystopian novel. “At one point in time, people of color, black people were declared three-fifths of a person,” Gray said. “I’d like to know what percentage of a person queer people are going to get so that I can base my life around it.”

Jordyn Landau of Turning Point USA said she was speaking for girls and women too scared to testify. “Women fought for years for equal rights and I feel like all the hard work goes out the door when we allow men into women’s spaces,” she said. “…My rights do not end where someone else’s feelings begin.

Matthew McIver moved to Des Moines in 2008, but said he wouldn’t advise others to do so now because of the political climate for LGBTQ residents.”Even if you don’t care about this particular group of vulnerable Iowans, government over reach and future administrations and legislatures may come for people that you do care about,” he said.

There were periodic pauses in the hearing as a large group protested outside the committee room, preventing some of those inside from hearing the testimony. The group chanted, “We will never go back,” for several minutes after testimony concluded.