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Sexual orientation discrimination in Iowa

In the state of Iowa as well as the rest of the United States, all people are protected from discrimination in the workplace. They are protected from discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, marital status, age, race, nationality, color, religion and sexual orientation.

Discrimination is the act of giving negative or differential treatment to a person that has, or is perceived to have, one of these protected characteristics. This could be not inviting an older person to an office event, or failing to make reasonable alterations to make the workplace accessible for a disabled person. It may also mean demoting women because they are pregnant, or firing or refusing to hire individuals because they practice a certain religion, for example.

What protections are in place when it comes to sexual orientation discrimination?

It is illegal in the state of Iowa to discriminate in the workplace on the grounds of anything related to sexual discrimination. This means that if a person who was perceived to be homosexual and was treated differently because of this perception, he or she would have a sexual orientation discrimination case, regardless of the individual's sexual orientation.

This generally means that a person is protected from a refusal to hire, demotion, exclusion, failure to promote, as well as discriminatory comments or behavior that lead to the creation of a hostile environment.

As part of the LGBT community in Iowa, am I only protected from discrimination at work?

Discrimination in regard to sexual orientation is not only prohibited in the workplace. Iowa law states that it is also illegal for a person to be discriminated against when it comes to any form of real estate transactions, from seeking to rent a property or buy a property, to advertising properties and selling properties.

It is also illegal in Iowa to refuse hospitality or public accommodations based on perceived or actual sexual orientation. This is true when it comes to the equal right to education, opportunities for people to adopt and equality of selection when it comes to choosing a legal jury.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your perceived or actual sexual orientation, or because of your gender identity, it is important that you stand up for your right to equal treatment.

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