Friday, May 21, 2021

Reynolds' request to ban transgender athletes from girls sports alive for 2022

(Radio Iowa) - Governor Kim Reynolds asked Republican legislators to pass a bill to prohibit transgender athletes from competing in girls sports, but House Speaker Pat Grassley says they ran out of time.

"We just had a lot of other things on our agenda and on our plate to wrap up the end of session and I don't think we ever got to the point where everyone was comfortable with what that would look like right now," Grassley says.

The 2021 legislative session ended late -- very late -- Wednesday evening. Reynolds says letting biological males who identify as females compete in volleyball, softball and other girls sports in Iowa is unfair to girls who're trying for college scholarships. While the issue was tabled in the 2021 session, Grassley says there remains a level of support among Republicans for the ban.

"That will be part of the conversations between now and the next session, what legislation would look like," Grassley says. "I think we just want to make sure the House, Senate and the governor are all on the same page."

Governor Reynolds publicly revealed her request for the transathlete ban three weeks ago during a Fox News forum with other GOP governors. House Democratic Leader Todd Prichard of Charles City says that's part of a pattern.

"This is a governor that's put headlines and impressing viewers of Fox News over being a leader for Iowa," Prichard says.

Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, says it's a divisive policy that hurts Iowa's reputation and transgender students.

"She's been working to make sure that she's a national figure by making political statements...and trying to build her brand. That's not her job," Konfrst says. "She's supposed to serve Iowans."

Nearly two months ago, South Dakota's governor issued an executive order banning transgender athletes from girls sports in public high schools and public colleges and universities and similar legislation has been introduced in more than two dozen other states.

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