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The ACLU of Iowa works to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals can fully exercise their rights under the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions and live openly without discrimination.
We believe every Iowan should have the freedom to live and work free from discrimination—regardless of who they are. We fight to stop discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, education, public accommodations, health care, and housing.
We have a long history of fighting to achieve this goal too. We brought the first marriage equality case in Iowa in 1976. And although that effort failed, Iowa became the third state in the nation to establish marriage equality with Varnum v. Brien, a case we filed an amicus brief for in 2009.
In 2019, we secured another historic win for transgender rights in Iowa. We filed a successful lawsuit on behalf of Jesse Vroegh, a transgender man working for the Iowa Department of Corrections. He wanted insurance coverage for his medically necessary gender-affirming surgery and also to use the men's bathroom and locker room at work. It was the first lawsuit brought under the protections provided to transgender people in the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
While we celebrate the progress made for LGBTQ rights in Iowa, we’re committed to continuing this fight in the streets, statehouse, and courts.