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Harrisville becomes 14th Utah locale to ban anti-gay bias
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As two lawmakers ready to push a statewide law that would ban discrimination against gay and transgender Utahns, one more local government has passed such protections.

On Tuesday, the Harrisville City Council unanimously passed anti-discrimination ordinances, making it the 14th Utah city or county to do so. More than a quarter of Utahns now live in places where it is illegal to discriminate in housing and employment based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Harrisville, north of Ogden, has a population of 5,567.

"A vast majority of Utahns support these protections that demonstrate our common values," said Brandie Balken, executive director of Equality Utah. "There is broad support — not just in larger cities or counties, not just in Salt Lake County — but across the state in smaller communities that may be perceived as more conservative."

Nearly three-fourths of Utahns favor a statewide law to protect gay and transgender residents from discrimination, according to a Dan Jones & Associates poll in October that was commissioned by Equality Utah.

Rep. Derek Brown, R-Cottonwood Heights, and Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake City, have announced plans to run a bill that would expand those protections statewide, amending existing state laws that forbid housing and employment discrimination based on characteristics such as race, religion and sex. Similar bills have fizzled in the Utah Legislature the previous four sessions. But Brown and McAdams hope their colleagues like a new protection in their bill for political activity and speech. That would mean Utahns could not be discriminated against for things like giving money to California's Proposition 8, the controversial 2008 ballot measure that overturned gay marriage in the Golden State.

rwinters@sltrib.com Who has anti-discrimination ordinances?

Alta, Grand County, Harrisville, Logan, Midvale, Moab, Murray, Ogden, Park City, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Summit County, Taylorsville and West Valley City. —

Panel discussion on Thursday

P 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.

LGBT • Harrisville anti-discrimination rules approved.
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