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Letter: LGBT discrimination

Published: Friday, Nov. 29 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

In her letter ("Non-discrimination bill," Nov. 23) opposing a proposed statewide non-discrimination bill that would protect gay and transgender Utahns from discrimination at work and at home, Carie Valentine's argument is as ridiculous as it is wrong.

First, the ridiculous: Ms. Valentine would have us believe there is an army of men in Utah, just waiting for permission to put on a dress and march into the women’s bathroom. If so, these deviants don’t need a law to carry out their lewd behavior, which is and would continue to be against the law, as would the purported abuse they seek to inflict on innocent people.

Now, the wrong: Utah does not have non-discrimination laws to protect gay and transgender Utahns from being fired or evicted from their homes based on their sexual orientation and gender identity alone. Individual municipalities across the state do, like the Salt Lake City ordinance, endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, enacted in 2010, but there is no statewide, consistent protection for our LGBT friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.

Unlike Ms. Valentine’s bogeyman-in-the-bathroom scenario, the fear for gay and transgender Utahns is real. In fact, four in 10 LGBT Utahns report having faced discrimination from employers and landlords. It’s past time we amend existing Utah law to include sexual orientation and gender identity alongside religion, age, race, color, sex, pregnancy, national origin and disability.

Emily McLaughlin-Tutton

Salt Lake City

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