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Iowa Senate passes LGBT anti-discrimination bill

“Today, we have the opportunity to reaffirm that in Iowa, job performance is what counts, not what you look like, not what church you attend, not how old you are or who you love…It is difficult to convince a talented young person to come to Iowa or stay in Iowa when they can be discriminated against simply because of who they are,”
— Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, who led debate on the bill.

A bill that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT citizens in Iowa passed the state Senate on Monday. Both sexual orientation and gender identity would be added to the Iowa Civil Rights Act. (Advocate News/

The chamber passed Senate File 427 on a bipartisan 32-17 vote. It moves now to the state House of Representatives, where Iowa Equality board president Sandy Vopalka expects it to have a tougher time.

Among the civil rights bill’s opponents of record were the Iowa Association of Business and Industry and the Meredith Corp., the Des Moines-based owner of 12 TV stations and publisher of 26 subscription magazines including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal and Better Homes and Gardens.

Meredith lobbyist Jim Carney told on Tuesday that that stance was “a mistake” arising from miscommunication, and that Meredith, going forward, will take a “monitoring or neutral” stance on the bill.

Please. What kind of miscommunication was that?

Passage in this body sends the bill to the House, where it isn’t clear that it will have the votes.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding