Today, LGBT and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) leaders in Utah came together to make history in support of a new non-discrimination bill. The bill aims to extend employment and housing non-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, while maintaining equal protection for the expression of religious beliefs.
“This is an exciting moment in Utah history,” Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams said in a statement. “Today, we prove that protections for gay and transgender Utahns can stand alongside protections for people of faith. One need not harm the other. The legislation we have crafted is a win-win for all Utahns.”
Currently, 21 states and Washington, D.C. have explicit non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation. Eighteen states and Washington, D.C. have explicit gender identity protections.
Bruce Bastian, a national LGBT advocate and member of HRC’s Board of Directors, also announced his support for the bill. “This statewide non-discrimination bill is a huge accomplishment showing that fair minded individuals who do not always agree can put forward something that is good for our citizens and for our state,” he said. “When passed, this will put Utah on the map as an example of what can be done when we work together.”