All but two of the Republicans who serve in the Iowa Senate voted to nullify Governor Vilsack’s executive order which bars discrimination against state workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows said the bill had nothing to do with gay rights, but was a reaction to the Governor trying to legislate.Senator Mike Connolly, a democrat from Dubuque, said Iverson and the G-O-P were doing the bidding of conservative Republicans who abhor homosexuals.Senator Johnie Hammond, a democrat from Ames, said Republican Senators were acting callously toward gay Iowans.Senator John Redwine, a republican from Sioux City, rejected the democrats’ arguments. Senator Redwine says the bill deals with the seperation of powers not discrimination. Governor Vilsack met privately yesterday with members of the Iowa Coalition for Human Rights, a group which supports his executive order. Kathy Huedepohl of Iowa City was among the group. Huedepohl says gay and lesbian people are just asking for the same rights as everyone else.Coalition member Michael Demas of Iowa City believes Republicans plan to use the gay rights issue in the fall election.
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