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Most Iowans oppose controversial trans birth certificate bill, according to new poll

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Critics say the “women’s bill of rights” is an “erasure” of the trans community in the state.

A new poll shows a plurality of respondents in Iowa opposed to a bill that would require birth certificates issued to transgender folks to include both their gender identity and biological sex.

The Iowa Poll conducted for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines found 49 percent of respondents opposed to House File 2389, only 44 percent in favor, and seven percent not sure. 50 percent of Republicans favored the bill with 42 percent expressing opposition. Sixty-three percent of Democrats oppose the bill with only 33 percent in favor.

The bill was the creation of Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. The bill defines sex as the binary designations of male and female assigned at birth and requires birth certificates issued to the trans community to include not just the holder’s gender identity but also their sex as defined in the bill.

The bill further requires the use of the defined sex designation in the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and policies, and data collection by state agencies and their subunits. The bill was passed out of committee along party-line votes and now it is before the full House.

Reynolds has hailed HF 2389 as the “women’s bill of rights” while opponents called it an “erasure” of trans and nonbinary folks by opponents of the measure.

“It is legislation based on biological truth,” Denise Bubeck, deputy director at The Family Leader’s Church Ambassador Network, told the Register last month. “Actually, none of us would be here today if it wasn’t for biology. God created woman and man. Period.”

Max Mowitz, an Iowan who identifies as transgender, said they would not let the proposed legislation cause them to flee the state.

“Being an Iowan is just as important to me as being trans, Mowitz told the Register last month. “This is my state, too.”

The Iowa Poll was conducted February 25-28, 2024, using phone interviews in English with 804 Iowans aged 18 years and older using cell and land lines provided by Dynata. The poll has an error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The poll was weighted by age, sex, and congressional district.

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