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Iowa Republicans Sue Governor
for Protecting Gay Workers

Gov. Tom Vilsack Gets Attacked for Exceeding His Authority

GOP Politicians Resent First Democratic Leader in 3 Decades

Compiled By GayToday

Des Moines, Iowa—Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack is being taken to court by 23 Republican lawmakers for having, they say, exceeded his authority when he signed a September executive order protecting gay and lesbian and transgendered workers from discrimination.

“These GOP politicians clearly resent being told they can't discriminate against homosexuals,” said Steven Yates, a gay Democratic strategist.
govtvilsack.jpg - 6.04 K Gov. Vilsack

The GOP lawsuit was filed in Polk County District Court on Tuesday and reflects the ideological antagonism Republican lawmakers feel for Vilsack, the state's first Democratic governor in three decades.

Earlier, during the legislative session, the governor had quickly vetoed a Republican attempt to overturn his gay civil-rights order.

Mark McCormick, a Des Moines lawyer who lost the 1998 Democratic Gubernatorial primary to Gov. Vilsack has agreed to handle the Republican lawmakers' case against his former political rival.

The attorney, however, denies now having any personal reason to strike back at the governor. "I don't have any reason to want to get back at him," he said, while claiming that Vilsack is guilty of a constitutional breach.

Iowa's Senate Majority Leader, Stewart Iverson, and Sen. Steve King initiated the lawsuit, seeking funds from individuals and from national organizations to support the suit.

Iverson insisted: "I am not using this as a campaign tool whatsoever."

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Vilsack, a trial lawyer, has believed all along that he rightfully and legally used his authority to improve hiring policies for employees of the state's executive branch.

The lawsuit will be defended by lawyers from the governor's office or from the attorney general's office. Referring to his executive order prohibiting anti-gay employment bias, Governor Vilsack told reporters:

“I thought this was the right thing for us to do in terms of fundamental fairness and not discriminating, You don't think about whether things will end up in court.”

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