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LWV of Iowa, One Iowa File Brief Protecting Students from Harmful LGBTQIA+ Book Ban in Schools

Press Release / Last Updated:

St. Louis, Missouri — Today, the League of Women Voters of Iowa and One Iowa filed an amicus brief in the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit asking the court to uphold a lower court’s injunction on an Iowa ban on certain books in school libraries 

In 2023, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a sweeping education law that orders the removal from schools of books that contain so-called sexual acts and restricts teaching about LGBTQIA+ topics. The case, Iowa Safe Schools v. Reynolds, was brought by the ACLU of Iowa and secured a ruling against the law. The state is now appealing the ruling.

The amicus brief emphasizes how legislators targeted books that contain LGBTQIA+ related material and therefore violated the First Amendment rights of students. The brief was filed on behalf of the League and One Iowa by RSH Legal.   

“Our students must feel safe, welcome, and encouraged at their place of learning if they are going to become productive citizens," said Terese Grant, president of the League of Women Voters of Iowa. “Instead of banning diverse perspectives in books, our elected officials must embrace all Iowans' full identities and ensure that our children are protected and able to learn in school.” 

“America is a country whose bedrock values are the freedom of speech and ideas. Those freedoms end when politicians start banning books and censoring curriculum simply because some people find them uncomfortable,” said One Iowa Executive Director Courtney Reyes. “At the end of the day, libraries in public schools are for every student. That means every student should be able to find stories in that library that represent them and their family. Anything less harms not just that student, but the entire community.”

“Book bans targeting LGBTQIA+ literature and instruction are a direct assault on the freedom of expression and undermine the value of diverse perspectives,” said Caren Short, director of Legal and Research at the League of Women Voters of the United States. “Laws like this further advance discrimination and deny LGBTQIA+ individuals the validation of their identities in their communities. Instead of discriminating against these communities, we should be finding ways to be more inclusive."

The League is at the forefront of the most important federal and state cases across the United States. Learn more about the League’s litigation work by visiting our Legal Center to review historic and active federal cases on our docket.  



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