Iowa is Burning

“But that won’t pass, will it?” I keep getting this question so I hope I can provide some clarity. I’m not an expert but I have a lot invested.

First, there is no shame in not following every intricacy of our state legislation. I am very grateful for advocacy groups like Iowa Safe Schools and One Iowa or I would be completely lost.

We all have full lives and fighting for our literal existence should not be on our to-do list for the day. But here we are.

I’ve lived in Iowa since 1995 and I don’t recognize this state anymore. I remember a time when horrific bills would be proposed in subcommittee and quickly killed and I got used to that pattern.

It is important to understand that is no longer our reality.

There are two March funnel deadlines for bills to pass through a full committee in order to remain eligible. The first was Friday, March 3. The next is Friday, March 31.

For these bills to be signed into law, they then need to pass a full floor vote in their originating chamber and then proceed through the process in the opposite chamber.

We are past the first funnel. Here is a complete list of what we are still fighting:

SF 496 (previously SSB 1145)— censorship, book bans, “forced outing”

HSB 222– censorship, book bans, “forced outing”

HF 348 (formerly HF 8)— ban on LGBTQIA+ in K-6 curriculum

SF 391 (formerly SSB 1076) and HF 327 (formerly HF 119)— limits curriculum around HIV and HPV including the HPV vaccine

HF 182 (formerly HF 7)– regents curriculum ban

HF 616 (formerly HSB 218)– eliminates funding for DEI offices

HF 623 (formerly HSB 214)— bans gender-affirming care for minors

SSB 1197– bans gender affirming care for minors

SF 297– empowers religious healthcare providers to discriminate

SF 482 and HF 622 (formerly SF 335 and HSB 208)— requires schools to maintain “sex segregated” bathroom facilities and requires students to use the bathroom that aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth

HF 180 (formerly HF 9)– “forced outing”

HF 620 (formerly HF 367)— empowers educators and other students to refuse to use a student’s name/pronouns

HF 597 (formerly HSB 219) redefines library program standards

HF 68– voucher bill that gives financial incentive to send kids to private schools, many of which get religious exemptions from honoring the civil rights of LGBTQIA+ students

Yes, equal marriage survived the funnel and that is something to celebrate but those bans were never expected to pass, not even by the GOP. Part of the strategy here was to get people’s attention and then get them to turn their attention off once equal marriage was “safe” again.


It is easier to get people to care about equal marriage than it is to get people to care about protecting trans kids.

Please don’t fall for this.

We are rallying on the state capitol steps today not because I expect our presence to make any sort of difference in the vote but because it is important to me that my kid who is standing next to me sees that I treasure their existence just as I treasure my own.

If writing letters and calling representatives is something that makes you feel good, by all means do so but I believe that our efforts are best directed toward our local government entities like city councils and county board of supervisors because the bills that are the scariest, the ones that threaten our children’s very lives, are the ones most likely to pass and our ghoulish excuse for a governor can’t wait to sign them into law.

We need our local governments to be working on creative strategies to protect us. Demand this of each one of them.

Attaching a photo because the Algorithm Overlords demand it and also because the solitary thing that I love about Iowa at this moment is our sky.

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