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GOP lawmakers want to exclude gay students from anti-bullying bill
A pair of Republican state legislators has introduced a bill that would remove protections for gay, lesbian and transgender students from an anti-bullying law passed in 2007.
State Reps. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, and Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, sponsored the legislation to remove sexual orientation and gender identity as definitions used for purposes of protecting students in public and nonpublic schools from harassment and bullying.
Schultz told NBC affiliate WHO-TV that the rationale behind the move is to force a vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, since the Iowa Supreme Court pointed to laws like Iowa’s Safe Schools Law in making its April decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Ryan Roemerman, executive director of Iowa Pride Network, said the bill would open up LGBT students to bullying and harassment.
“When our state is facing record budget deficits and unemployment, House Republicans feel their time is best spent picking on Iowa’s LGBT youth,” Roemerman said in a statement. “There is no better example as to why we have this law, so youth in Iowa don’t grow up to be like these bigots.”