It’s been a bitter battle, but Iowa’s legislature has voted to write sexual orienation into the state’s non-discrimination laws. The House voted 59-37 for the addition, while the Senate passed it 34 to 16, sending a strong message to Governor Chet Culver that the state believes in equality.
Democrat Kevin McCarthy agrees:
It is a historic vote. I also think it was a mainstream vote. This was not some sort of liberal social agenda. This is just saying that under housing and employment, people should not be discriminated based upon their real or perceived sexual orientation.
Conservatives are singing a different, older tune, saying that by amending their constitution, Iowa lawmakers are creating special privileges for the homos and, to a lesser degree, condoning so-called sinful salaciousness. Iowa Family Policy Center President Chuck Hurley fumed: “We don’t think sexually immoral behavior should be made into a protected class. That’s not the purpose of the civil rights code.”
Culver may not have signed the bill yet, but he’s certainly given it the verbal thumbs up. He praised yesterday’s House vote, saying:
To bring Iowans together, we must create an Iowa in which we do not discriminate against anyone, anywhere, at anytime. I am extremely proud of the hard work done in the legislature on this bill, and I look forward to the opportunity to sign it into law.
Of course, trans folk got cut out of the political mix. Sorry guys (girls?), people just don’t get it…
(PS: Don’t you love the Iowa motto?)
Legislators support bill protecting gay rights [Des Moines Register]
Iowa House approves gay rights bill; Culver guarantees signature [Globe Gazette]