Thursday, July 14, 2016

Watch out, Iowa

A Public Accommodations Provider’s Guide to Iowa Law pamphlet describes "Iowa Law...Effective July 1, 2007, the Iowa Civil Rights Act (Iowa Code Chapter 216) was expanded to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes." In this pamphlet the state of Iowa asserts itself into the topic of religion, allowing itself to determine what is a "bona fide" religious purpose. Explaining whether churches must follow the code on gender discrimination and such like, they write, "Where qualifications are not related to a bona fide religious purpose, churches are still subject to the law’s provisions. (e.g. a child care facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public)." Seriously? A church service that is open to the public is not a bona fide religious purpose?

See also:
Iowa Bureaucrats Force Trans Bathrooms On Churches, Forbid Non-PC Preaching -- "The American philosopher John Rawls...insisted people could not be free if other people refused to make them feel nice."

[Note: After I wrote this, someone pointed out that the pamphlet has been changed to read: "...unless the place of worship engages in non-religious activities which are open to the public. For example, the law may apply to an independent day care or polling place located on the premises of the place of worship." It is not clear when this change was made and if it is a response to complaints about the previous explanation. Iowa Code 216.7 Unfair Practices -- Accommodations or Services can be found HERE. It says "This section shall not apply to: a. Any bona fide religious institution with respect to any qualifications the institution may impose based on religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose." The code does not say what the pamphlets say, either before or after the revision. The pamphlets reflect someone's interpretation and explanation of what the code means. Section 2a says the code does not apply to a "bona fide" religious institution related to a "bona fide" religious purpose. It leaves room for the state of Iowa stepping in to decide exactly what are "bona fide" religions engaged in "bona fide" purposes, and that is problematic.]

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