‘Religious freedom’ bill submitted in Iowa senate

DES MOINES — A bill that could allow “religious exemptions” from civil rights laws was submitted to the Iowa Senate this week.

The bill, SF 2154, was submitted by State Sen. Dennis Guth on Thursday. The bill, if passed and signed into law, would allow people to claim that state and local civil rights laws are an “undue burden” if violates a “deeply held religious belief.”

“This religious exemption bill is vague and ripe for abuse,” One Iowa Action Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel said in a statement. “Broad religious exemptions open the door for people to claim they have a right to decide which laws they will and won’t obey. This creates uncertainty for law enforcement and opens the floodgates to legal chaos and frivolous lawsuits at taxpayer expense. It leaves LGBTQ Iowans, single mothers, children, and many others vulnerable to discrimination.”

One Iowa Action called on state senators to oppose the bill.