Task Force applauds Iowa Legislature's passage of bill protecting LGBT Iowans from discrimination
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
Hails work of state partners; urges governor’s swift action
WASHINGTON, April 26 — By a 59–37 vote, the Iowa House of Representatives yesterday approved a bill prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, public accommodations, housing, education and credit practices. The state Senate approved that version late last night in a 36–14 concurrence vote. Gov. Chet Culver has vowed to sign the bill.
Iowa will become the 19th state in the country to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and the 11th to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity. When the law takes effect, an estimated 49.3 percent of the U.S. population will be protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 35 percent will be protected on the basis of gender identity and expression.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., is proud to have partnered with Equality Iowa, the statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights group, to pass this measure. The Task Force assisted in crafting the bill’s language, sent out action alerts and provided strategy throughout the legislative process. The Task Force applauds Equality Iowa, One Iowa, the Interfaith Alliance, the Iowa Safe Schools Task Force and all others who made this victory possible.
Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“We urge Governor Culver to act swiftly to sign this historic measure into law. During his inaugural address, the governor spoke about creating ‘one Iowa, one unlimited future.’ His signature will bring Iowans one step closer to that reality.
“Each day that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are relegated to second-class status and blocked from receiving basic protections is a day that unnecessarily places them and their families in harm’s way.
“This victory marks a step toward full equality, and we applaud our Iowa partners and the many supportive lawmakers for their tremendous efforts.”
Statement from Sandy Vopalka, Board President,
“This bill would have been impossible without the support, energy and time of the Task Force. Many people over the last 18 years have worked to pass this bill, some of them no longer with us, and their presence was felt during the votes yesterday. For the first time in my life, I finally feel welcome in the state of Iowa.”
The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.
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