Iowans charged with a violent crime could not use a victim’s sexuality or sexual orientation or gender identity as a mitigating factor in their defense under a bill passed Thursday in the Iowa House.

It was one of several bills House lawmakers passed through the chamber, including bills prohibiting black bear hunting and creating protections against defamation lawsuits.

This defense is both heinous and ridiculous, and this bill would eliminate it as a defense in Iowa,” said Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton.

The bill has passed the House twice in the past, but still has not made progress in the Senate. The bill was supported by LGBTQ rights groups, including One Iowa and Iowa Safe Schools.

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