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Push to ban anti-gay bias gets new support at the Legislature

Politics » GOP lawmaker joins anti-discrimination push.



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"Amendment 3 bans same-sex marriage in the state of Utah. It’s part of our state Constitution," Rosky said. "No statute can change it."

Changing the Constitution requires the support of two-thirds of the Legislature and a majority of Utah voters.

At a glance

Panel will meet on Thursday

Sponsors of a statewide anti-discrimination bill will present a “dialogue on common values” for the public and lawmakers.

When » Thursday, 5 p.m.

Where » Auditorium of the State Office Building, north end of the Capitol Complex

Which entities in Utah have passed anti-discrimination ordinances?

Salt Lake City

Park City

Alta

Logan

West Valley City

Murray

Taylorsville

Moab

Midvale

Ogden

Salt Lake County

Summit County

Grand County

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McAdams, who is a senior adviser to Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, said that the city has received three complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation since the ordinance was passed. All three were found to be without merit, he said.

Gov. Gary Herbert has opposed legal protections for gay and lesbian Utahns in the past. Herbert’s spokeswoman, Ally Isom, said Thursday that it would be premature to comment on McAdams’ bill until the specifics are clear.

"Governor Herbert is clearly on the record stating that all people should be treated with respect and civility. He feels no one should experience discrimination," she said. "Further, he has supported the ability of local communities to determine the composition of such ordinances."

The anti-discrimination bill has been unable to even get a hearing in the Senate. Brown hopes starting the bill in the House will help its prospects.

Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, said there is no reason to pass a statewide anti-discrimination measure and force communities to accept values they may oppose. But McAdams said he thinks the bill simply reflects common Utah values.

"There are real protections in this bill, but there’s also a symbolic statement out of this, that we can respect our neighbors and we can respect somebody’s faith and live together in the community," McAdams said. "I think that’s what Utah is."

gehrke@sltrib.com


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rwinters@sltrib.com



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