Steve King Proposes Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill for Congress

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Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Iowa Congressman Steve King — the guy who’s concerned that Americans will start marrying their lawnmowers — this week snuck anti-trans bathroom language into a 2017 appropriations bill. The language mirrors North Carolina’s now-infamous HB2, which prevents cities from passing pro-LGBT ordinances including those allowing transgender people to use public restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

The full text of King’s amendment reads, “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to encourage, allow, or require any individual to use any bathroom other than the bathroom of the individual’s biological sex.”

The appropriations bill applies to buildings that Congress has jurisdiction over. That means if King’s amendment were to become law, transgender people visiting the U.S. Capitol Building, Library of Congress, or House and Senate office buildings would be prohibited from using public restrooms matching their gender identity.

Meanwhile, President Obama’s Justice Department is putting the pressure on North Carolina to nix its so-called bathroom bill, saying that it’s in violation of federal civil rights protections.

Promoting discrimination against the LGBT community is nothing new for Iowa Republicans, who in the state Senate earlier this year almost unanimously voted against extending hate crime protections to transgender people.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.