LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Iowa:
Since 2006, Iowa has protected people statewide from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Following decades of advocacy, the Iowa Legislature enacted LGBTQ non-discrimination in Iowa on April 27, 2006.
The Path to LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Iowa:
- 1963: The Iowa Fair Employment Practices Act is passed, prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, creed, national origin, religion, and other categories. Two years later, following passage of the Iowa Civil Rights Act in 1965, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission is founded and charged with the responsibility of upholding non-discrimination protections in Iowa. At the time, the law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.
- 1970: The University of Iowa becomes one of the first in the nation to extend non-discrimination protections to gay, lesbian, and bisexual students.
- 1970-2006: Local and national organizations engage in conversations about who LGBT people in Iowa, and support for comprehensive non-discrimination grows.
- June 5, 2001: The Des Moines City Council passes a local ordinance protecting residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation. In the next three years, five other cities – including Davenport, Bettendorf, and Iowa City – also pass ordinances, building momentum toward statewide legislation that extends non-discrimination to LGBT people.
- April 27, 2006: The Iowa Legislature approves a bill extending non-discrimination protections to LGBT Iowans in employment, public accommodations, housing, credit, and more. Governor Chet Culver signs the bill into law.
Last Updated February 7, 2018