DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has denied a request by the attorney for former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to stop a civil trial in which Branstad is accused of discrimination against a gay former state worker’s compensation commissioner.

Branstad and two former staffers were sued by Christopher Godfrey, who was pressured to quit after Branstad took over as governor in 2010 and received a pay cut. Godfrey claims it was because he’s gay. Branstad denies he knew that Godfrey is gay.

An eight-person jury is hearing the case in Polk County District Court.

Branstad attorney Frank Harty claims the trial judge is allowing Godfrey to put Branstad’s and the Iowa Republican Party’s “anti-gay” views on trial, violating their free-speech rights.

Supreme Court Justice Thomas Waterman on Friday denied the request to stop the trial.