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Iowa Legislature Passes Nondiscrimination Bill Protecting LGBT People

HRC news release:

Update: Late tonight, only hours after the legislation was approved in a bipartisan vote by the Iowa State House of Representatives, the Iowa State Senate gave final legislative approval to a state-wide nondiscrimination bill.  The nondiscrimination bill overwhelmingly passed the Iowa State Senate by a 34 to 16 vote.

The bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk for signing into law.

DES MOINES, IA - Today, members of the Iowa House of Representatives voted 59 to 37 to approve a bill outlawing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, public accommodations, housing, education, and credit practices.  The bill passed with bipartisan support, with nine Republicans voting in favor of the bill. This legislation, which passed the Iowa Senate on March 26, 2007 by a 32-17 vote, must be sent back to the Iowa Senate for concurrence with the House version. 

When the bill is signed into law, Iowa will become the nineteenth U.S. state to ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and the tenth to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

"Legislators in Iowa have taken historic action to advance the cause of equality for all Iowans. Once this bill is signed, Iowa will be a freer and fairer place for its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  "We applaud the many legislators who voted for fairness and equality, Governor Culver, who has pledged to sign this bill, our friends at One Iowa, the Interfaith Alliance Action Fund, the Iowa Safe Schools Task Force, and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, as well as all the HRC members in Iowa who worked hard to pass this important legislation."

The Human Rights Campaign is proud to have partnered with One Iowa in 2006 to elect a fair-minded majority to the Iowa House of Representatives and to have partnered with One Iowa, the Interfaith Alliance Action Fund, the Iowa Safe Schools Task Force, and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission this year to pass this important pro-equality legislation.  HRC has invested in this partnership through direct financial and technical assistance.  In addition, HRC has consistently worked to mobilize its members in Iowa to support the strategic goals of these groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Iowans.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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