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Judge blocks the ban on school books with sexual content and the teaching of LGBT issues in schools in Iowa

Federal Judge Stephen Locher ordered to maintain only the obligation to inform parents if their children decide to change their name or pronouns.

Composición de dos imágenes de archivo, una con la gobernadora de Iowa Kim Reynolds y otra donde se puede ver el aula de una escuela.

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A federal judge suspended parts of Iowa's SF 496 law on Friday, which regulates sexual content and gender identity in schools, in a preliminary order. Judge Stephen Locher blocked the ban on some books in school libraries and the teaching of LGBT issues in classrooms, but maintained the provision that requires school authorities to inform parents if their child asks to change their pronouns or name .

The law is incredibly broad and has resulted in the removal of hundreds of books from school libraries, including, among others, nonfiction history books, classic works of fiction, Pulitzer Prize winning contemporary novels, books that regularly appear on Advanced Placement exams, and even books designed to help students avoid being victimized by sexual assault," Locher wrote in his ruling. He also argued that, given the First Amendment, the regulations were unlikely to survive "any standard of scrutiny."

The suspension will remain in place while the trial progresses, which came after two lawsuits: one led by the publisher Penguin Random House and another by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). Signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in May, the law was to go into effect on the first day of 2024.

"I’m extremely disappointed in today’s ruling," Reynolds said in a statement. "Instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation has no place in kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms."

And there should be no question that books containing sexually explicit content — as clearly defined in Iowa law — do not belong in a school library for children. The fact that we’re even arguing these issues is ridiculous. The real debate should be about why society is so intent on over-sexualizing our young children. It’s wrong, and I will continue to do my part to protect their innocence.

State Attorney Brenna Bird expressed herself in similar terms: