Iowa House GOPers bill would permit discrimination against same-sex couples

UPDATE @ 4:28 PM: This bill is dead, according to Jason Clayworth from the Des Moines Register:

A legislative proposal to allow Iowans to deny service to people with whose marriages they disagree is dead, the chairman of the House Judicial Committee said today.

“We have no intent to move the bill forward,” Rep. Rich Anderson, R-Clarinda said today.


This is pretty extreme even for homophobic Republicans. It’s bad enough that GOPers in Iowa, New Hampshire and in Congress are trying to strip rights from citizens. In Iowa, it gets worse.

Iowa House Republicans promised to make jobs and the economy their top priority. But, just like the GOPers in the U.S. House, they lied about that. In Iowa, they’ve become obsessed with legislative gay-bashing. A new bill in the Iowa House would legally sanction discrimination:

It would be legal for an Iowa business owner who cites religious beliefs to refuse to provide jobs, housing, goods or services to people involved in a marriage that violates his or her religious convictions, according to a bill an Iowa House subcommittee will consider 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.

The same-sex exclusion is by itself constitutionally troubling, several legal scholars and civil rights activists said.

However, the bill is so broad that it would legalize a wide spectrum of other discriminatory acts, they said. They raised questions about whether services could be denied if, say, a Christian were married to a Jew or if a woman who is 60 married a man who is half her age and the couple could not procreate.

So another homophobic bill that will have far-reaching implications. That’s just collateral damage in the Iowa GOP’s quest to demonize gay citizens.

This legislation won’t become law. The State Senate will block it this year. But, the bill provides fodder to the haters. And, it insures that marriage will be an issue among the GOP presidential candidates who are appealing to the hard-core right wingers in Iowa.

Let’s see if any of those Republican presidential candidates will say no to hate at next month’s candidate forum, which is sponsored by the right-wing Iowa Christian Alliance. Chances are slim, except, of course, for Fred Karger. But, Fred was purposefully excluded from that forum:

The only openly gay Republican exploring a presidential bid is fighting to be included in an upcoming candidates forum hosted by the Iowa Christian Alliance.

Fred Karger, a retired GOP consultant from California, told The Ballot Box he’s been excluded from the March 7 event because of his sexual orientation.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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