The Associated Press reports:
Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad [photo] and a staffer discriminated against the state’s then-commissioner of workers’ compensation in 2011 because he’s gay, and the ex-official is entitled to $1.5 million for emotional distress, a jury said Monday.
Polk County jurors found that Chris Godfrey not only proved the discrimination occurred, but also showed he was retaliated against in the form of a pay cut after refusing to quit.
“The jury heard my sexual orientation was clearly a motivating factor,” Godfrey said. “This is a win for me and it’s a win for the entire gay community in Iowa. It shows that we have sexual orientation in the Civil Rights Act in Iowa for a reason and nobody, not even Terry Branstad, is above that law.”
Branstad is now Trump’s ambassador to China. The state will pay the settlement and Godfrey’s legal costs of over $1 million. The judgment can be appealed.
Before he was even sworn-in back in 2010, the first thing Iowa Governor-Elect Terry Branstad did was call for a public referendum to repeal same-sex marriage.
Three of the state Supreme Court justices that had upheld same-sex marriage in 2009 were voted out of office in the same election.