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Iowa commission’s revised brochure doesn’t change bad law, ADF lawsuit to continue

Iowa commission’s revised brochure has failed to alleviate the concerns regarding a vague state law at issue in the lawsuit Fort Des Moines Church of Christ v. Jackson.
Published On: 10/18/2017

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb regarding the Iowa Civil Rights Commission’s release Friday of a minor revision to its publication titled “A Public Accommodations Provider’s Guide to Iowa Law” that has failed to alleviate the concerns regarding a vague state law at issue in the lawsuit Fort Des Moines Church of Christ v. Jackson:

“Cosmetic changes to the alarming language in one brochure won’t fix the unconstitutionality of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. Churches should be free to communicate their religious beliefs and operate their houses of worship according to their faith without fearing government punishment. The Iowa Civil Rights Commission had no constitutional basis for including explicit threats against houses of worship in any of its materials. While the commission was right to remove some of the most disturbing language in its brochure, the change in the brochure doesn’t fix the inherent problem with the Civil Rights Act that forms the basis of the lawsuit—that the act gives the commission power to determine what parts of a church’s activities do not have a ‘bona fide religious purpose’ and are thereby subject to the act’s prohibitions. No state or local law should threaten free speech and the free exercise of religion as protected by the First Amendment. Because the Iowa law does that, ADF will continue to challenge the law to bring certainty to Iowa churches.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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