New gay rights bill unveiled in the Utah State Legislature

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SALT LAKE CITY — A new gay rights bill has been unveiled on Utah’s Capitol Hill.

Senate Bill 99 “prohibits discrimination in a place of public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” It is sponsored by Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City.

The bill was unveiled on Wednesday, a day after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its support for bills related to LGBT nondiscrimination in housing and unemployment, so long as religious freedom legislation was included.

While gay rights groups in Utah have praised the LDS Church’s stance, national groups have been critical. The Human Rights Campaign said the church’s announcement falls short of actual equality.

“All Americans should have the right to be employed, receive housing and services in environments free of discrimination,” HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said in a statement. “We await the day the church embraces that fully, without any exceptions or exemptions.”


  • Terence W.

    I’m very excited to finally see legislation like this show up in Utah…so thank you for the LDS church and Utah leaders for finally recognizing how important this law is to be passed!

    That being said, why must it be that a church standing be required or announced before our Legislature takes action? The ties between Church and State in this state really need a second look. I find it unacceptable, at best…repulsive and corrupt at worst. I challenge our leaders in the Legislature and our governments to instead, work on laws and regulations on their own feeling and needs, rather than be tied to a Church system. (Granted, it is the dominant religion in our state, to be fair.) This should surely be at the utmost importance to our leaders: Keep religion out of politics and the law.

    • David Whittington

      Yo Terence – Utah is a ‘Theocracy’ – a state run by a church. The governor and legislature are lapdogs of church leadership. Welcome to Utah – crawl under the ‘Zion Curtain’ and turn your watches back 160 years.

      • Stuart McDonald

        No Dave, our state has a republic form of government in which power resides in the people, and the government is ruled by elected leaders run according to law. Thank goodness the majority of Utahns are smart enough to elect legislators who know now to balance a checkbook, and vote according to their will.

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