"Discriminating" bill dies in Iowa House - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

"Discriminating" bill dies in Iowa House

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- A controversial bill that opponents say would have legalized discrimination in Iowa is dead on arrival.

Opponents say House Study Bill 50 would have made it legal for businesses to turn away or fire people based on race or religion.

"House Bill 50 destroys the concept of religious freedom.  The bill misuses the freedom that we all hold dear and turns it into a tool for mass discrimination," Connie Ryan Terrell, of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.

Rabbi Steven Edelman agrees. "I'm afraid that it actually doesn't do the job it's looking to do in terms of protecting religious freedom. But it only leaves open a Pandora's box for discrimination"

House Study Bill 50 is also known as the Religious Conscience Protection Act.  Its sponsor, republican Representative Rich Anderson from Clarinda, says the bill has some issues--but didn't close the door on resurrecting it.

The bill is targeted at same-sex marriage, and it would have allowed some business owners to reject people basic rights if they didn't agree with gay marriage, based on their religious views.

 

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