Iowa Republicans reintroduce religious freedom bill

Some critics say the bill discriminates against the LGBTQ community.
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 8:20 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Iowa lawmakers are reintroducing a religious freedom restoration bill.

The bill would hold the government accountable before it can infringe on a person’s free exercise of religion.

It is legislation Republican Senator Dennis Guth has introduced several times over the years, but it has not made it through. This year, he says he hopes it sticks.

Supporters argue the bill will protect religious freedoms.

“During this time of kind of the cancel culture, I think the problem is not so much that people of faith are trying to push their religion on someone else, but that the secular world is trying to force their thoughts on people of faith,” Sen. Guth said.

Damian Thompson is with Iowa Safe Schools. The nonprofit serves 10,000 LGBTQ youth statewide.

He argues this bill discriminates against the LGBTQ community.

“We’re leaving the entire nation for the number of anti-LGBTQ bills,” Thompson said. “It’s very distressing for many of our students. I’ve seen firsthand mental health problems, risk of suicide.”

Twenty other states have passed similar bills.

See the story on KCCI’s website.

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