- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa church has asked a federal judge to stop the Iowa Civil Rights Commission from applying portions of a state policy that the church says could force it to abide by transgender bathroom rules and muzzle ministers who may want to preach against transgender or gay individuals.

The nonprofit religious legal defense organization Alliance Defending Freedom filed a motion Wednesday.

The group represents the Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, which says Iowa’s antidiscrimination law that prohibits public accommodation discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity violates a church’s rights to free speech and free exercise of religion.

The commission says it’s never enforced the law against churches and has made it clear churches are generally exempt.

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