Rep. Jeff Shipley says Trans Iowans have mental illness, compares them to cancer

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Rep. Jeff Shipley made at least 10 references to mentally ill Iowa transgender people and diagnosed them with gender dysmorphia at least 11 times during Monday’s Iowa House floor debate to ban women. girls and transgender women to participate in women’s school sports.

Shipley has no well-known professional experience in the mental health field other than advocating for psychedelic drugs. His current occupation listed on his Iowa Legislature page is “artist.” His previously listed occupation was Bubbling Brine Brothers Sauerkraut Vendorprofessional lawyer and stand-up comedian.

“There are many Iowans who suffer from gender dysphoria and related illnesses, so I would like to begin by calling on the Holy Spirit to be upon us and to guide us through this discussion for the benefit and upliftment of all Iowans. “, was Shipley’s first. time linking mental illness and being transgender together.

The Southeastern Iowa Republican’s remarks came during last night’s discussion of HF 2416 and related amendments to the bill, which prohibit trans girls and women from participating in sporting events designated as women-only, girl-only, or ladies-only.

The original bill only applied to K-12 schools, but one of the successful amendments extended the ban to varsity sports as well. Other Iowa Republicans who spoke in favor of the bill stuck to the message that the legislation is about fairness and protecting the sanctity of sports for those designated as female at birth. .

When Shipley asked for an amendment to remove legal protections from schools that affirm a person’s chosen gender identity — it was defeated 91-3 — he made another comparison where he equated being trans with mental illness.

“I do not believe the State of Iowa should provide liability protection to an educational institution that asserts mental illness,” he said. “What other mental illness is treated with unconditional affirmation? Are people with schizophrenia treated with affirmation? Is drug addiction and chemical dependence treated with affirmation? »

Shipley went on to compare being trans with cancer.

“If a person had a malignant sarcoma, would the appropriate treatment be affirmation? No, a sarcoma would be treated with aggressive therapies to eliminate or cure the cancerous growth and this same medical framework should be applied to the identity disorder epidemic,” he said.

During the debate, some Democratic lawmakers called out Shipley for equating being trans with mental illness. In response, Shipley blamed a psychology book and took no personal responsibility for his comments.

“When I say gender dysphoria is a mental illness, I’m not saying it. I’m referring to the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition,'” he said. So I think what we’re talking about should be very, very clear and have some leaders stand up and say this or that and gender dysphoria is not a mental illness,” says the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders minds”. It does.”

the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition” does not actually say that all transgender people have gender dysphoria, but it does define and acknowledge that the condition exists.

Here is how gender dysphoria is defined in the text:

“Gender dysphoria refers to the distress that can accompany the incongruity between the gender experienced or expressed and the gender assigned. Although not all individuals experience distress from such an incongruity, many are distressed if the desired physical interventions through hormones and/or surgery are not available.

For young children, the manual states that gender dysphoria “is associated with clinically significant distress or impairment in social, academic, or other important areas of functioning,” so something like not being able to play sports team with the gender of their choice could cause the condition. Shipley expressed so much concern for.

Following the adoption of HF 2416, Shipley took to Twitter to celebrate.

“Iowa House votes 55-39 to save women’s sports!” he wrote. “Hopefully the next step is a legal definition of ‘woman’.”

In a follow-up tweet, he defended his comparison of trans kids to cancer.

“Health is health and sickness is sickness,” he wrote. “A disease does not define a person, but to overlook the existence of a disease is negligent and harmful.”

After the vote, Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines), who served in the Iowa House for 20 years, spoke about Shipley’s claims that being transgender was a mental illness and comparing it to cancer .

“Some of the rhetoric that unfolded today was perhaps some of the most dangerous homophobic political rhetoric I’ve ever heard in the House of Representatives,” Hunter said. “Rep Shipley, students and LGBTQ people don’t have mental illness.

“LGBTQ students don’t have anything resembling cancer, but when you get up on the floor of the House of Representatives, it does real damage.”

by Ty Rushing

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