Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on February 25, 2011
Utah – Senate Bill 148, which would provide housing and workplace protections against discrimination for sexual orientation or gender identity has been denied a committee hearing. The bill sits in the Rules Committee, and chairwoman Sen Margaret Dayton (R) says it’s unneccessary to hear the bill.
Senator Ben McAdams introduced the legislation several weeks ago, but since then Republicans and Conservatives have lined up against it, despite the clear desire of both their constituents and their religion.
Two different state-wide surveys have shown that 70% of the residents in Utah are in favor of allowing people to work in their jobs and live in their homes without fear of being fired or evicted for reasons have no bearing on job or rent performance. Even the Mormon Church has come forward and said that these protections are fair and should be passed state-wide.
And yet Republicans in Utah still refuse to even listen to the bill, much less vote for it. Yesterday, the Rules Committee voted 5-2 to refuse to let the bill receive a fair committee hearing. Extremist conservative Republican Senator Margaret Dayton said (via the SL Trib):
“I don’t think this is an issue the body wants to take up,” Dayton said. “I’m not willing to put out an issue that I sense there isn’t a lot of support for that could take a lot of time and generate controversy.”
One has to wonder at this point just who the Republicans in this state are representing. They are not representing the constitution, they are not representing their constituents, and they’re not even representing their religion. So just who are they listening to?
Equality Utah points out that there are still 13 days left in the session for something to happen. But at this point there is not much hope of the bill advancing.