Keenan Crow

The Impact of the LGBTQ+ Erasure Bill on Iowa’s Future

Taken from the testimony by Max Mowitz, Program Director at One Iowa, presented on February 12th during the Public Hearing for the LGBTQ+ Erasure Bill. Watch the full Public Hearing here

I am a proud Iowan- I bet that we have that in common. I am here because I love this state. I am here because I want a better future for all Iowans.

It cannot be stressed enough that this bill will impact domestic violence and sexual assault services for Iowans. I have been engaged in sexual assault and domestic violence work for years and am a survivor myself. I have seen firsthand the ways that Trans people, especially Black Trans women, are disproportionately impacted by violence. This legislation will cost us precious lives because it  creates the possibility that all of the domestic violence shelters may lose what little funding they do have. I’ve worked with these organizations and heard the issues they’re facing. Loss of funding should not be added to the list. Also, loss of funding for domestic violence programs actively harms the very women you purport to be protecting. It harms all women, regardless of if you see them as such.

This bill will also harm many Iowa LGBTQ families. People that I love that are raising children here and making our state better. I am watching their babies grow up. I refuse to think of these families as simply a “workforce” we desperately need to keep. These are workers, yes, but also community members and volunteers and people you can call if you need a meal. These people are the reason Iowa is beautiful to me.  I know that this legislation will scare many LGBTQ folks, and many will leave. But I cannot bring myself to do the same. I was in high school when gender identity was added to the Iowa Civil Rights Act and when we were third in the nation to get same sex marriage. I remember those days so clearly. It was then that I knew that I had a future here, that I could see myself in this state. I want the LGBTQ youth that live here today to see a future here too. They deserve more than this.

Being an Iowan is just as much a part of me as being Trans. This is my state, too. Every time I come to this capitol, I am reminded of how much I love a state that does not love me back. I want people to live here, raise their families here and make this state better. I hope you do too. Please, do not move forward with this bill.