Iowa Civil Rights Commission: Churches Must Comply with Transgender Bathroom Laws

Carrie Dedrick | Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Iowa Civil Rights Commission: Churches Must Comply with Transgender Bathroom Laws

An Iowa church is battling the Iowa Civil Rights Commission over a brochure that demands churches allow the public to use the restrooms of their choice. Fox News reports that Cornerstone World Outreach of Sioux City filed the suit in an effort to amend the policy. 

Legal firm First Liberty Institute is representing the church in the suit. First Liberty attorney Hiram Sasser said, “Cornerstone World Outreach cannot be made to open its restrooms for use by individuals in accordance with their gender identities, rather than their sex assigned at birth.” 

Thus far, the Civil Rights Commission has yet not gone after churches who fail to obey the guidelines outlined in the brochure. However, Pastor Cary Gordon said he did not want trouble to fall upon the church if they were found to be in violation. 

First Liberty chief of staff Chelsey Youman said, “This is an unprecedented move by a government agency to mandate that anytime a church opens its doors to the public that it automatically qualifies as a place of public accommodation. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

She continued, “The state claims it has the power to regulate what the church even teaches – what they are allowed to say from the pulpit – in addition to how they operate regarding matters of gender and sexuality. If the church has a doctrine or theology that is at odds with the state and they speak out about that – they can have the full weight of the law brought down against them.”

“It’s a harbinger of more trouble to come if we don’t address it right now and hold them accountable to what they are saying,” Pastor Gordon said.

Publication date: July 6, 2016