Editorial: Iowa House should pass transgender protection law


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We as a society need to be more aware of the transgender community to stop the perpetuity of hate and violence.

Editorial Board

The issue of not having enough protection for those in the transgender community who are victims of hate crimes is a topic of discussion that has been brought up many times over the last few months. The reason is because there were not sufficient laws in place to legally protect transgender people who are victims of hate crimes.

The Daily’s editorial board has also weighed in on this conversation because excluding a group from legal protection is somewhat out of character for Iowa. Iowa has always been a more progressive state, and the lack of protection allotted to this group must not persist.

It seems that the Iowa Senate finally agreed because on Tuesday, a divided Senate voted to add transgender individuals to a list of groups that are protected under the state’s hate crime laws. This will also lead to harsher punishment for people who are convicted of enacting a hate crime.

The file was approved 27-21 when a Republican from West Des Moines sided with all of the Democrats in a favorable vote. Charles Schneider was the only Republican who felt this issue should be pushed through to the House for a vote.

This is a huge victory for Iowa’s transgender community but it seems the momentum might end in the Senate. The Iowa House is controlled by Republicans who made it clear in the Senate that they were not in favor of providing transgender individuals with protection.

The Des Moines Register reported that this issue will most likely be declared dead this session without a discussion.

A historic high of 15 transgender individuals were murdered in 2015 specifically for being transgender. This is an extreme, but if the murder rate is rising, it’s clear that the violence rate against the transgender community is rising as well.

The National Center for Transgender Equality said the transgender community is “more susceptible to violence because they are marginalized economically, educationally and usually end up with a target on their back.”

All of these facts put together can only lead to the conclusion that leaving these individuals without protection is not morally right and opens the door for more horrifying statistics in the future. The Senate did the right thing by moving this vote up to the House, but the momentum can’t stop there.

This is a real issue impacting real people and it is the House members’ responsibility to look past their personal views of the transgender community and see that transgender individuals are just as human as any of us and should be protected from hate crimes.