A republican who hopes to run against democrat Governor Tom Vilsack vows to let Iowans decide whether gay state workers should be singled out for on-the-job protection from discrimination. Vilsack’s 1999 executive order which barred discrimination against gay state workers was thrown out by the courts in December. Senator Steve King of Kyron wants a constitutional amendment to settle the matter once and for all.King wants a constitutional amendment to make it clear lawsuits may only be filed if someone’s discriminated against because of their race, ethnicity or religion — not their sexual orientation. He says he draws the line at expanding special protected status for any group based upon behavior.Late Wednesday night, Vilsack issued a new order banning discrimination in state government hiring.Vilsack spokesman Joe Shannahan says the policy is about providing equal opportunity in the workforce. Shannahan says King hasn’t read the Governor’s new order and is over-reacting. 2004 is the earliest King’s constitutional amendment could be put before Iowa voters.
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