A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked an Iowa law prohibiting schools from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in elementary schools, according to multiple reports.
United States District Judge Stephen Locher of the Southern District of Iowa, who was appointed by President Joe Biden, also blocked provisions of the law that prohibited the use of sexually explicit books, the Des Moines Register reported. Locher allowed provisions requiring schools to inform parents about students who requested the use of different pronouns, according to The Associated Press.
Schools had removed books from libraries following the legislation’s passage, which prompted lawsuits from an LGBT advocacy group, the Iowa State Education Association and Penguin Random House, according to the Register.
Parents across the country raised objections to books with sexually explicit content in recent years, prompting some states to act to remove them from schools. Schools pulled multiple books on the grounds of having explicit content, including “Gender Queer,” “Let’s Talk About It” and “It’s Perfectly Normal,” after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed similar legislation in Florida.
“Instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation has no place in K-6 classrooms,” Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Books containing sexually explicit content do not belong in a school library.”
Parents had previously sued school districts in recent years over efforts to transition children socially without the parents’ knowledge.
Harold Hutchinson December 30, 2023