We knew they were coming for churches next, and so it begins.
New Orwellian regulations, based upon the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identify (SOGI) law passed in Iowa in July of 2007, are targeting churches, forcing them to capitulate to the Left’s transgender agenda, making it now illegal to resist such an order, despite your protections under the First Amendment.
Yes, I’m talking about Iowa, as in that state in AMERICA.
Churches are now mandated to open their bathrooms, locker-rooms and living facilities to subjectively claimed “gender identity” rather than biology; religious leaders and church-goers will be forced to use the so-called “correct” gender pronouns to those who perceive themselves to be the sex they are not; church leaders will also be essentially muzzled from preaching about basic sexual and gender truths in order to avoid hurt feelings—because hurting someone’s feelings is apparently “discrimination” now.
Clearly, LGBT bureaucrats on a war-path for “inclusivity” and “tolerance” are willing to steamroll the First Amendment as they see fit, and taking out some bigoted religious folk in the process is presumably just a bonus.
In addition to Iowa churches, the law also requires “private businesses, schools, libraries, police departments, and any private organizations that receive government funds,” to adherence, as The Federalist notes.
Such guidelines hilariously assure Iowans that bathrooms, locker-rooms and living facilities can absolutely be sex-segregated…based on “gender identity,” that is. “And, just as non-transgender individuals are entitled to use a restroom appropriate to their gender identity without having to provide documentation or respond to invasive requests, transgender individuals must also be allowed to use a gender-identity appropriate restroom without being harassed or questioned,” state the guidelines.
In other words, a mere declaration of womanhood is all you need! If Tim says he’s a woman, Tim can go ahead and plop himself down in the middle of the women’s locker-room, no questions asked—and all those female bigots uncomfortable with Tim will just have to shut up and deal with it, in accordance with the ever-tolerant SOGI law, of course.
And for churches specifically, their response is even more comical: your First Amendment rights will only be trampled “sometimes.”
But the guidelines make it clear that by “sometimes” they mean always—even services. Churches are subject to the SOGI guidelines when an event, function of the church, or service is “open to the public.”
If you haven’t been to a church lately, basically every single event or service is “open to the public.” That’s kind of the whole point of a church…
Here’s the exact phrasing with regard to church adherence to SOGI law:
Iowa law provides that these protections do not apply to religious institutions with respect to any religion-based qualifications when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose. Where qualifications are not related to a bona fide religious purpose, churches are still subject to the law’s provisions. (e.g. a child care facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public).
Examples of “illegal discrimination” include refusing “to allow an individual to use all the facilities or services of the public accommodation,” providing a service or mass “in a separate location or at separate times from that offered to others,” and “[h]arassment , intimidation, or other demonstration of hostility.”
And for the restrictions on speech, the ironically-named Iowa Civil Rights Commission brings us back to the fictional setting of Orwell’s 1984: “repeated remarks of a demeaning nature,” “demeaning jokes, stories, or activities,” or “intentional use of names and pronouns inconsistent with a person’s presented gender” are all considered illegal harassment.
Reportedly, the Alliance Defending Freedom commission is already representing a church in Iowa to fight these unconstitutional restrictions.