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Iowa extends
legal protections to LGBT residents

Iowa extends
legal protections to LGBT residents

LGBT residents of Iowa will now have the same protection from discrimination in housing and employment as other minority groups. Iowa governor Chet Culver, a Democrat, signed a bill into law Friday that expands the state Civil Rights Code to cover sexual orientation and gender identity, reported Radio Iowa.

Rich Eychaner, a Des Moines businessman and gay rights activist, was present for the signing. "This is a bill that says we want to be fair to everybody, and so wherever you come from and whatever your situation in life, you'll be treated correctly in Iowa," he explained to Iowa Radio. By supporting a welcome and opening environment, good workers will seek employment in the state, he added.

But Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Coalition, said many businesses oppose the expansion of the Civil Rights Code to include "changeable characteristics," reported Radio Iowa. "What is gender identity? Is it how I feel a certain day? How is an employer supposed to know that?" Hurley asked. "They [employers] cannot have clarity in how they're going to handle hiring, firing, promotions, demotions under this bill. This is not something like race. This is something that goes to a behavior." (The Advocate)

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