DES MOINES — Iowa now has a law modeled after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law last night at an event sponsored by The Family Leader, a Christian conservative group. The law took effect immediately.

In a written statement, Reynolds said “religious rights have increasingly come under attack” and this law upholds “ideals that are the very foundation of our country.” Critics say the law will let some Iowans weaponize and misuse religion to discriminate against others.

The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was approved in 1993. According to the governor’s office, 26 other states have passed similar laws in the past 30 years.

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