DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Thursday that prevents transgender girls from competing in female sports.
The Republican went into detail about the law during a signing event on Thursday.
"It requires schools at all levels to designate sporting events as male, female, or co-ed," Reynolds said. "Only students who are female according to their birth certificate will be eligible to compete in girl sports. Nothing could be more straightforward and common sense."
Transgender activists say the new law is discriminatory.
"Transgendered Iowans matter. They're here, they're not going away and this fight is not over," said Becky Smith, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools, a nonprofit organization that says it helps students who face bullying. "We know that students are going to be put at risk because of this bill, and it's unfair and it's also against the law."
ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Mark Stringer immediately issued a statement after Reynolds signed the bill into law.
He wrote, in part: "Our legislators and the governor heard from vulnerable Iowa kids and their families, and about how important participation in school sports is to them in living fully as themselves in all aspects of their lives. Elected officials have ignored their pleas and have instead passed a law that actively marginalizes and isolates these kids. They are scoring political points at the expense of transgender girls who just want to play team sports along with other girls."
The law takes effect immediately.
According to NPR, ten other states have transgender sports bans — many of which are caught up in lawsuits.