Gay former Iowa’s Workers Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey has been awarded $1.5 million in a discrimination lawsuit against former Governor Terry Branstad. Godfrey filed the lawsuit in 2012 saying that the governor asked him to resign twice and cut his pay by half when he refused, because of his sexual orientation.
The AP reports: “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.”
Said Godfrey: “The jury heard my sexual orientation was clearly a motivating factor. 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 currently serves as Trump’s ambassador to China.
The Des Moines Register reports: “The verdict wraps up the six-week trial, but it does not mark the end of the yearslong legal battle that began when Godfrey first sued seven years ago. On top of the $1.5 million in damages awarded to Godfrey for past and future emotional distress, a judge will determine additional fees to be paid to his attorneys. The state of Iowa is responsible for paying the damages and any additional fees. Iowa taxpayers have already payed more than $1 million in fees to private attorneys defending the state.”