FOX NEWS — Congregations across the state of Iowa are in grave danger of having their pastors silenced in the pulpit over LGBT public accommodation rules, according to a federal lawsuit filed against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
Fort Des Moines Church of Christ filed what is known as a “pre-enforcement challenge” – arguing that a portion of the Iowa Civil Rights Act is a threat to First Amendment freedoms.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal firm that specializes in religious liberty lawsuits, is representing the church in its fight against the commission.
“Churches should be free to teach their religious beliefs and operate their houses of worship according to their faith without being threatened by the government,” ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb said. “That is a foundational First Amendment principle.”
The issue involves the commission’s interpretation of the 2007 Iowa Civil Rights Act – specifically about public accommodation.
The law includes a facility use mandate that requires anyone subject to the law to open sensitive areas to people based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
So does the law apply to churches? The commission answered that question in a brochure on the matter: