Terry Branstad, Iowa Governor, Slapped With $1 Million Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit By State Commissioner
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is facing claims he discriminated against the state's openly gay Iowa’s workers’ compensation commissioner by asking him to resign and cutting his salary after he refused.
As the Des Moines Register is reporting, commissioner Christopher Godfrey is asking for $1 million in compensation, while alleging defamation, harassment, sexual discrimination and extortion against the state. "When you're treated differently than everybody else, and you're subjected to treatment that's different than anybody else...and the reasons that they give as the basis for the action that they've taken against you is flat-out false...it really only leaves one other reason," Godfrey told local news channel WHO-TV.
Meanwhile, the governor's office issued a statement denying that Branstad, a Republican, had discriminated against Godfrey, and that the commissioner had been asked to step down because of his job performance.
In December 2010, before Branstad took office, he first requested Godfrey’s resignation, along with the resignations of other state appointees and directors -- a common step when a new governor is elected, according to the Register. After Godfrey again refused to resign in July 2011, his salary was in fact cut from $109,000 to $73,000, Insurance Journal is reporting.
"The governor was acting well within the law in lowering Mr. Godfrey's salary," George LaMarca, the attorney who will represent the governor in this case, said. "Governor Branstad utilized this law to send him a message that he was not satisfied with the direction the commissioner was moving this department." A spokesperson for the governor told WHO-TV that Branstad was not even aware of Godfrey's sexual orientation prior to the lawsuit.
For other cases of discrimination related to gender identity and sexuality in the workplace, see the slideshow below:
Gay Music Teacher Fired After Revealing Plans To Marry Partner
A Missouri-based gay music teacher at an area Catholic school was recently dismissed from his job after authorities learned of his plans to wed his male partner of 20 years in New York. Al Fischer was reportedly fired Feb. 17, 2012 from St. Ann Catholic School in north St. Louis County, where he'd worked for four years. Fischer did not comment directly about his dismissal, but instead referred to an email sent to his students' parents after he was terminated. "A family conversation about whether or not justice was served here could be a great thing," he wrote. "I do not want the lesson from this for the kids to be, 'Keep your mouth shut, hide who you are or what you think if it will get you in trouble.'" Fischer's partner, Charlie Robin, told the paper that the couple's relationship was not a secret at the school, and that Fischer was only fired after a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese overheard him talking to co-workers about his wedding plans. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/al-fischer-gay-music-teacher-fired_n_1311324.html" target="_hplink">Read the full story here</a>.
Arabic Translator Fired From Navy For Being Gay
College Soccer Coach Allegedly Fired Revealing She's A Lesbian
College Professor Allegedly Fired For Being Transgender
Substitute Teacher In Florida Fired For Being Involved In Gay Porn
Corrections Officer For Juvenile Detainees Fired For Being Gay
Woman Lost State Job With George General Assembly After Revealing She Is Transgender
Dan Choi Fired From The Military For Being Gay
Gay Water Polo Coach Fired For Being Gay
Man Fired From Kentucky Farm Bureau For Supporting Gay Marriage
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