Utah Legislature: Gay rights legislation truce may be in trouble
Republicans question a proposed study on discrimination
Still, Sandstrom said he and others are fairly certain that the city and county ordinances violate the state's "at-will" employee law. And, as a legal and policy issue, he said no local ordinances should violate state law, no matter what the cause.
"It is problematic in having local entities passing patchwork ordinances that violate state law — it seems there should be a statewide solution," Sandstrom said. "As far as I'm concerned, this has nothing to do with gay rights. It is a question of violating current law — and what, if anything, we do."
The truce is backed by Salt Lake Democrat Rep. Christine Johnson, the sponsor of the anti-discrimination bill, and Republican Sen. Howard Stephenson of Draper. Both said they had the support of majority leadership when they announced the deal Friday.
Neither Johnson, one of two openly gay Utah lawmakers, nor Stephenson returned calls Tuesday about the status of the truce.
Equality Utah reiterated its support for the truce.
"We're sticking to the agreement," said Equality Utah executive director Brandie Balken. "Equality Utah came to the table in good faith, in the assumption that it is in the entirety of Utah's best interest that these protections get passed statewide. An effective vehicle to do that would be this study. If that doesn't seem to be a vehicle everyone can agree on, then we can do the work we planned at the beginning of this session."
Balken said the compromise announced last week was "one of the first times we've managed to get some bipartisan support. That's something notable in and of itself."
Contributing: Aaron Falk
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