Ad campaign targets proposed Utah nondiscrimination law

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18 2013 7:50 p.m. MST

Urquhart last year said his bill wasn't about marriage or special rights. "It's about equal rights," he said.

"This is purely about employment and housing," Balken said, adding there's nothing in state law that keeps people from having or living their deeply held beliefs.

Balken said it seems that courts across the country are deciding the marriage question and that it will likely find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Nothing that happens in this bill is going to make a decision with regard to marriage in Utah," she said. "But today, we as Utahns have an opportunity to build on a common sense solution to address a current problem."

The First Freedoms Coalition's three 30-second TV spots say nondiscrimination laws take away rights to freedom of speech and religion.

One ad clearly refers to BYU's arrangement with apartment owners for off-campus student housing, though it does not name the university.

"Imagine you are a landlord renting to private university students in accordance with that university’s honor code, and a young man decides he wants to live in women’s housing. Those special rights would trump your rights as a landlord and, ultimately, the honor code. How fair is that?" according to script of the ad.

Utah currently has a patchwork of nondiscrimination ordinances in 18 cities and counties. Salt Lake City approved the first one in 2009, with the backing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy

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