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Lawmakers want to study gay rights measure

Published January 25, 2008 12:59 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Posted: 12:59 PM- Lawmakers said they have more questions about a bill that would make it unlawful for employers to discriminate against gays and lesbians and decided not to vote http://www.le.state.ut.us/search.jsp?Sess=2008GS&String=HB89&Submit=Find" Target="_BLANK">HB89 on Friday at a House committee meeting.

Bill sponsor Rep. Christine Johnson, D-Salt Lake City, said she's content with the open dialogue so far and hopes to ease lawmakers' concerns by answering their questions.

"This bill is not about morality," she told the committee.

It is up to commitee chairman Rep. Stephen Clark, R-Provo, if the bill is brought up for a vote again.

HB89 would grant workplace discrimination protection for employees based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" but religious organizations and businesses with fewer than 15 employees would be exempt. Utah law now bars discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, nationality, disability and age.

Thirteen states have added sexual orientation and gender identity to their anti-discrimination laws. Seven more states have added only sexual orientation to state law.