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Iowa Bill Would Protect Marriage Foes

Iowa Bill Would Protect Marriage Foes

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A bill under consideration in the Iowa house would allow business owners to cite religious beliefs and discriminate against people in same-sex marriages by refusing to provide them with jobs, housing, goods, or services.

The Des Moines Register reports on the bill to be considered by an Iowa house subcommittee on Wednesday.

"House Study Bill 50, called the Religious Conscience Protection Act, would allow a person, business or organization such as a charity or fraternal group to deny services without fear of facing a civil claim or lawsuit if they think doing so would validate or recognize same-sex relationships," reports the Register.

Rep. Richard Anderson, the Republican sponsor of the bill, joined his house colleagues last week in voting to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would repeal marriage equality. Prior to the vote, he argued for state interest in promoting procreation among heterosexual couples.

According to the Register, it is unclear whether the protections for marriage objectors will pass the house. A similar bill last year failed to advance beyond committee. The Iowa supreme court ruled unanimously for marriage equality in 2009.

Efforts to repeal marriage equality appear to have no immediate future in the senate, where majority leader Sen. Mike Gronstal has vowed to block debate in his chamber.

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