Non-discrimination bill headed to a Senate Committee

From the Daily Herald
by Billy Hesterman

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that calls for a statewide nondiscrimination law will be debated by lawmakers for the first — and maybe only — time on Friday.

Senate Bill 51, sponsored by Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake City, attempts to make it illegal to discriminate against a person in housing or employment because of that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. McAdams ran similar legislation in 2011, but the bill was held up by the Senate Rules Committee.

McAdams called it progress that his bill will at least get the chance to be voted on by a committee this year.

“I’m encouraged that it is being sent to committee,” McAdams said.

However, the committee it has been sent to doesn’t appear to be one that will give the bill a favorable recommendation. Members of the Senate Government Operations Committee are some of the more conservative members in the Senate, which suggests the bill will face some tough scrutiny. If they approve it, it will be debated by the full Senate.

McAdams said he thinks it’s good that the committee will get to hear from the public on the issue and feels it will be a great step to have an open conversation about the topic. He noted that 75 percent of Utahns support the idea.

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