Former Iowa governor testified he didn’t pressure state employee for being gay

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FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2014, file photo, then Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad announces during a rally with supporters his plans to run for another term, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Branstad, the current U.S. ambassador to China, urged Beijing to engage in substantive dialogue with exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama during […]

DES MOINES, IA (Associated Press) —Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad testified in a civil trial that he didn’t try to pressure a state official to quit in 2010 because he is gay.
    
Branstad, now the U.S. ambassador to China, testified for much of Friday in a civil trial in which he’s accused of discrimination against former Iowa Worker’s Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey.
    
After being elected governor in 2010, Branstad sought Godfrey’s resignation and cut his pay by $39,000 when he refused. Godfrey sued in 2012, saying he was a victim of discrimination and retaliation.
    
WOI-TV reports Branstad argued the fact that Godfrey was openly gay didn’t play a role in his efforts to oust him. Branstad testified, “It didn’t have to do with values. It had to do with their qualifications, their knowledge and experience.”

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