Sen. Hatch reacts to new law protecting LGBT from workplace discrimination

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SALT LAKE CITY -- President Obama signs an executive order Monday protecting the LGBT from workplace discrimination, but U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch wants religious organizations to be exempt.

"One of the surveys we did showed that 43 percent of our gay community and up to 65 percent of our transgender community have experienced discrimination in their employment in their state," said John Netto, president of the Utah Pride Center.

Nineteen municipalities in Utah have adopted city or countywide ordinances protecting the LGBT from discrimination in housing and the workplace.

Netto calls the President's executive order historic -- 24,000 companies will be held to a new standard.

The LGBT have been protected based on sexual orientation since 1998 but the new rule means 28 million federal workers and contractors will also get the same rights based on gender identity.

"In fact more states now allow same-sex marriage than prohibit against LGBT workers, so I firmly believe that it's time to address this injustice for every American," said President Obama.

Utah is not one of those states.

A Senate bill barring workplace discrimination never reached the floor for a vote this year. Netto thinks it will take a ruling on gay marriage from the U.S. Supreme Court before Utah takes any initiative to change its laws.

"I would frankly expect that the institutionalized discrimination we see in the workplace, and I call it institutionalized because the government supports that discrimination by not making laws against it, and I expect it to remain in Utah for quite some time," Netto said.

Utah's longest serving senator has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with President Obama's policies.

Hatch released a statement to FOX 13 saying in part:

"An executive order prohibiting workplace discrimination that lacks a clear religious exemption would demonstrate, yet again, the Obama administration`s consistent disregard for religious liberty."

"I would say that Sen. Orrin Hatch represents more than just the religious organizations in this state, that Sen. Hatch ought to be careful about what religion and what values of what religions he's supporting because I'm aware in this state there are religions that don't support his position," Netto said.

Despite Hatch's calls for a religious exemption, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been supportive of the local governments passing their own anti-discrimination ordinances and shared the same sentiment for the statewide law that was proposed last year.


  • Paul Rasmussen

    typical orin hatch. making noise about some of the MOST unimportant things while the country as a whole goes to hell. You sir are a disgrace to the voters of Utah

    • Arlee

      This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things to make noise over. Barak Hussien has again overstepped his authority and SCOTUS will reverse him as unconstitutional. I agree with the rest of what you said.

    • Bob

      In WWII Hitler thought it would be a good idea to kill Jews in gas chambers. Some people made noise Paul but most were like you Paul and never questioned the morality of his decisions.

      The problem here, Paul, is this executive order, without authorization from congress is constitutional?

    • trevor

      You got one thing right, he is a disgrace to Utah voters. Only focusing on the negative with the passing of this bill aimed at preventing discrimination. Didn’t have one nice thing to say about the bill. I favor politicians that at least try to understand what the other half of the state would like. We fight for equality. You fight to push your cr@p ideals on us. Hopefully you’ll all wither away soon enough. Can’t stand people like you. What part of the country is going to hell anyway? Our economy is back to the way it was before the recession. We’ve almost got out of Iraq and Afghanistan. But it is hard to clean up after Bush’s mess.

      • Bob

        This bill wasn’t passed TREVOR. It was an executive order by a president trying to bypass congress. The kind of thing a king would do.

  • Bob

    Obviously folks like PAUL RASMUSSEN aren’t real supportive of the 2nd Amendment right to free speech … unless of course he agrees with it.


    In 2000 SCOTUS ruled that the private BSA club does not discriminate the civil rights of the LGBT community by barring membership of the same. That BSA is a club oriented around religious values. Why would POTUS continue to claim ‘discrimination’ along civil rights lines when such is not the case? Those who oppose the personal choices (i.e. DNA driven, socially encouraged or constructed, or by personal choice – such as religion) of a few doesn’t mean and never has meant the reduction of civil liberties of others preferences. If I’m opposed to hunting, I don’t bar or obstruct those individuals from working or living their lives, even if I disagree with hunting practices. Why do we continue to treat the LBGT community with exceptions, as if they are the only ones with unique leanings??

  • Bob

    The whole LBGT-Q thing can be so confusing. Can a G be a T, where does a female impersonator belong, and if a Q marries a T what do they tell their adopted children?

  • PutridMeat

    Reading the comments in here made parts of my brain matter ooze from my ears. Should I just start huffing paint and join the rest of the idiot choir? They say ignorance is bliss, but then again Utah residents tend to eat anti-depressants like pez candy, so that can’t possibly be true… Can it?

    • Bob

      The average Utahn that folks from San Francisco despise has a pretty good understanding of what Mother Nature intended. Yes, Mother Nature does make mistakes from time to time, and I feel sorry when I observe those results.

      That still doesn’t answer the question about the LGBT-Q thing? Just thinking about makes my brain matter ooze from my ears.

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