Branstadt Testifys

Former Republican Governor Terry Branstad emphatically rejected the idea he tried to force a state administrator to resign seven years ago because the official was gay.

Chris Godfrey was the state’s Workers Compensation Commissioner in 2011 when Branstad returned to the governor’s office after a 12-year hiatus. Branstad asked Godfrey to resign, then cut his pay by a third when Godfrey refused. Godfrey filed a discrimination lawsuit in 2012 and the case has gone to trial before a jury this month. Branstad admitted under questioning from Godfrey’s attorney that same-sex marriage was a political flashpoint in 2010, but Branstad , who is currently the U.S. Ambassador to China, said he’s hosted “pride” events at the ambassador’s residence in Beijing.

After about five and a half hour of testimony, Branstadt broke down in tears on the witness stand as he talked about the honor of serving as U.S. ambassador to China.