Des Moines, Iowa, Oct 28, 2016 / 13:56 pm
A Des Moines church has dropped its lawsuit against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, after a federal court reassured the church it would not face penalties for preaching and following its views on homosexuality and transgender issues, including single-sex bathrooms.
"The Iowa commission's guidance was vague and empowered government bureaucrats far beyond what the constitution allows," said Steve O'Ban, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel. "The court cut off this unconstitutional power grab by clarifying that the law does not apply to churches and reassured Iowa churches that they are free from improper state interference."
O'Ban represented Fort Des Moines Church of Christ in U.S. district court. The church filed suit based on fears that the state's anti-discrimination policy on gender identity and sexual orientation would make it legally liable for preaching and following its views on homosexuality and transgender issues – including maintaining single-sex bathrooms.
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission, however, said it has never enforced the law against churches and had been clear that churches are generally exempt.