The Iowa Civil Rights Commission is urging the Iowa Legislature as well as cities and counties to pass laws and ordinances which make gays and lesbians part of a “class” that is protected from discrimination. Iowa Civil Rights Commission chairman David Leshtz of Iowa City. Leshtz says the Commission took the same vote a little over a year ago, and thought it was time to reaffirm its position on the matter. The Commission’s resolution seeks to prohibit discrimination against homosexuals in employment, housing, education and credit practices. He says they want to do their part to ensure a safe environment for all Iowans, and will send that message to the Iowa legislature.Critics say homosexuality is a chosen behavior that should not receive special protections, while other civil rights protections are connected to characteristics — like race or gender. Leshtz says Commission members don’t buy that argument and believe all Iowans deserve protection from discrimination. Five Iowa cities — Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines and Iowa City — have adopted gay rights ordinances.
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