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Senate OKs gay rights bill banning discrimination; Utah senators split vote


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  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 11, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    @Bruce A. Frank --

    "Nothing but the say so of the student decides he or she, at the moment, is what ever gender they feel like. "

    Do you really believe that any high school boy is going to voluntarily bring down the ridicule of all his classmates upon himself by saying he's a girl, just so he can switch bathrooms?


    In reality, Gender Identity Disorder is not merely a matter of deciding "at the moment" that you are one gender or another.

    1. GID may occur as frequently as 1 in 500 people.

    2. Most people diagnosed with GID identify experience gender dysphoria before puberty.

    3. Twin studies indicate that GID is 62% heritable, and therefore has a strong genetic influence.

    4. In male-to-female transsexuals, GID is often associated with genetically-induced androgen insensitivity.

    5. Male-to-female transsexuals have been found to have a typically female stria terminalis (part of the brain), while female-to-male transsexuals have a typically male stria terminalis.

    6. In addition, the hypothalamus in male-to-female transsexuals appears to function as a typical woman's does.

    Let's get real. Transsexualism is not a whim.

  • Bruce A. Frank San Jose, CA
    Nov. 11, 2013 3:17 a.m.

    Here in CA we now have a problem with a similar law that is allowing those claiming trans-gender identity are able to use girls rest rooms and girls showers for the sports teems. No control. Nothing but the say so of the student decides he or she, at the moment, is what ever gender they feel like. . .soon to be nation wide. Complete disregard of the rights of the non-LGBT girls. . .now coming soon to a school near you.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    @David 8:44 a.m. Nov. 8, 2013


    The cause of the government shutdown was that Obama and Democrats refused to negotiate on the ACA, even refusing to vote on delaying implementation of the penalty for 1 year.


    Sorry, David, that's not accurate. The shutdown happened because the Republican House leaders refused to vote on their bill after the Senate cleaned up and amended the House bill, and passed back to the House for concurrence. The House refused to even bring the cleaned up and amended bill up for a vote, knowing that there were sufficient votes to pass it, because the cleaned up bill didn't fit the far right agenda. Nice try, doesn't fly.

  • mattmo Gallatin, MO
    Nov. 9, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    I wonder what the our Father in Heaven is thinking at this time. The moral decay of this nation will bring the downfall of this great nation as we make laws and regulations for everything telling people just exactly how to act in every situation sounds like Satan's plan doesn't it? Do we need to be commanded in all things. Don't we have the right to use our common sense?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 9, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    @worf --

    "Some children never grow up."

    And some children learn to fight for their rights. If they didn't, we'd still be a British colony. ;-)

    "There are things I've been discriminated for, but I really don't care."

    So what? Lots of people DO care.

    "being fired doesn't effect me. "

    Lucky you. Most other people aren't nearly so lucky.

  • J. S. Houston, TX
    Nov. 8, 2013 6:17 p.m.


    I am sorry that there are things you've been discriminated for. And if you choose to ignore, or put up with it, that is your choice. No one will force you to fight.

    However, that doesn't mean other people being discriminated have an obligation to follow your way, and choose to ignore or put up with discrimination. If they choose to fight for equal treatment, you cannot stop them.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 8, 2013 4:35 p.m.


    I'm not dependent on anyone, so being fired doesn't effect me. I have no debts, and have paid my way through life. I haven't taken nothing from anybody. I refuse being subjected to others.

    I love the peace, and security of this. Whining is a sign of weakness.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 8, 2013 4:21 p.m.


    Whose we? I thought the "we' was being discriminated against, and left with nothing.

    A child may say--"quit it"! " That's not fair, I'm telling"!
    Some children never grow up.

    I'm dependent on myself. I've worked my way through life, and I don't whine for things being unfair. There are things I've been discriminated for, but I really don't care.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    "The cause of the government shutdown was that Obama and Democrats refused to negotiate on the ACA"

    Democrats and Obama compromised by voting for the House funding levels on everything else in the gov't even though they wanted many changes to that.

    The difference between Republican and Democratic requests to delay the mandate is that Democrats want it delayed just long enough to make sure the system is working right and Republicans want to just destroy it and get rid of it all.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 8, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    There's a very interesting article in the NYT about this bill. The headline is "Senate Bill on Bias Against Gays Finds Support in Mormons".

    It notes that Mormon legislators provided crucial support for the bill.

    Those included Harry Reid (I didn't know he was Mormon!), who said: “People shouldn’t be able to fire them because of their sexual orientation any more than you can fire them if they’re Mormon".

    Other Mormons involved included Orrin Hatch, Gordon H. Smith (a former senator who convinced Hatch), and Dean Heller. Out of 7 Mormon Senators, **five** of them voted FOR the bill.

    The article also reminds us that "the church publicly backed a provision in Salt Lake City in 2009 that extended many of the same workplace protections as the Senate bill. "

  • David Centerville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 8:44 a.m.


    The cause of the government shutdown was that Obama and Democrats refused to negotiate on the ACA, even refusing to vote on delaying implementation of the penalty for 1 year.

    And yet I now hear Democratic Senators proposing to the president that they delay the penalty...for one year.

    Hypocrisy at its finest.

    Democrats will shut down the government when Republicans propose something. But then a month later Democrats will propose the same thing.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 8, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    @bigv56 --

    "No group needs special rights. It will just be abused."

    Obviously we should remove all special religious protections. It's fine to fire someone just because they're Mormon, right?

    @worf --

    "...overcome these things without whining to government..."

    So of course you won't go whining to the government when we start firing people just for being Mormons -- right?

    @Mikhail --

    "Need I go on? "

    Please go on and read the legal definition for discrimination.

    "In Constitutional Law, the grant by statute of particular privileges to a class arbitrarily designated from a sizable number of persons, where no reasonable distinction exists between the favored and disfavored classes."

    This means that you base your hiring and firing decisions on characteristics that are unrelated to job performance -- like skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. In most jobs, gay people or women or blacks can perform their jobs just as well as anyone else.

    Groups like short-fingered piano players are examples of things that DO affect job performance. Refusing to hire people who are unable to perform their jobs is NOT discrimination.

    "Why are we tilting at windmills?"

    The US Constitution is not a windmill. It's called the Equal Protection Clause.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    Mikhail asks: "Why are we tilting at windmills?"

    Because evil prevails when good people do nothing.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    Anti-discrimination laws aren't necessary, until you are fired for being different.

    The people who don't think these laws are necessary don't have to worry. You will still have your job, and nobody will be able to take it away from you. The only reason you need to worry about losing your job will be due to poor job performance or you employer needs to downsize its staff.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 5:35 a.m.

    @David 10:07 p.m. Nov. 7, 2013

    "One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day..."

    At first I thought Obama was talking about the Senate Democrats refusing to vote on a budget during the government shutdown.


    Actually you are talking about the far right House leadership. The Senate amended the bill it received from the House (to clean it up) and returned the clean version to the House for approval. There were sufficient votes, including Republican votes, to pass it but the Republican House leadership refused to bring it up for the vote. THAT is the cause of the government shutdown.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 12:31 a.m.

    "This is the role of government?"

    Actually, yes it is. You see our founding fathers mentioned this when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 11:31 p.m.

    Hey, I think that the Senate missed the short people, the fat people, the exceedingly tall people, the brown-eyed people, the red-headed stepchild, the short-fingered piano players, the vertically challenged NBA aspirants… Need I go on? If you want to count the need by the shear numbers of discriminatory practices, this is not anywhere at the top of the list. Not having such a law will not change peoples propensity to be narrow-minded any more than having the such laws make people less narrow-minded. This is the role of government? Why are we tilting at windmills?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 7, 2013 11:28 p.m.


    Are there, anyone in history, who hasn't faced discrimination in some form? Like it or not it's part of life. We find ways to cope with it. You roll with the punches.

    It's a shame when some go crying to the government for special privileges, because they can't take the heat, and challenges of life. They want to sponge of off others, because they think they're picked on more than others. Deal with it.

    I've seen people with tremendous physical handicaps who took no handouts, did not whine about how people looked at them, and accomplish great things. One of them is my brother. I admire these folks.

    Being gay is your choice, and that's fine, but I don't have to sit around feeling sorry about it.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    "One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day..."

    At first I thought Obama was talking about the Senate Democrats refusing to vote on a budget during the government shutdown.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2013 8:49 p.m.

    Mike Lee gets sadder every day.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Nov. 7, 2013 8:11 p.m.

    @Chris B
    "Even most 4 year olds know what makes someone a man and what makes someone a woman."

    Yes, and most people old enough to operate a computer and comment on the DN realize that there may be subjects about which they do not know enough to comment intelligently, yet are unwilling do a minute of research first.

    ....As for 'Utah senators split vote’: the Senator who is less popular on DN acted as Jesus would, in support of fairness toward our fellow humans, while the Senator who gets applause by catering to obstruction and small mindedness continued in that vein.

  • Rebel ,
    Nov. 7, 2013 7:21 p.m.

    Shame on you Mr. Hatch. You had to sell your soul to raise the money you needed for reelection. Thanks Mr. Lee for supporting the values of our founding fathers. I am sure your parents are proud of you. If you really do have the power of shutting down the government why don't you just close down about 45% of government temperately that is not needed.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Nov. 7, 2013 7:16 p.m.

    Worf, Chris B. and others
    The fact that the Senate approved this bill it doesn't mean it will become law. There is a strong chance Congress will kill it.... so, relax!
    The fact that the Senate was willing to vote on it was a great advance for the cause of equality and fairness in this country.
    It is interesting how "so called" religious people can use the gospel of Christ to discriminate and try to perpetuate a system of intolerance and bigotry. Fortunately, the people of the Unites States and the world are waking up to social justice and human rights for all humans.
    Friends, it is sad that my life style offends you so much. Your bigotry offends me but I will defend your right to voice your opinion and enjoy your lives with all the privileges that I don't have. But, I will keep on fighting for those privileges for me and others, no more but not less either. The Christ I know wouldn't want it in any other way.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 6:29 p.m.


    "Don't we have existing laws that prohibits discrimination against race, religion, gender, etc?"

    Yes, adding sexual orientation/gender identity to the list isn't going to be any more litigious than any other item on the list.


    "If you listen carefully enough, you'll hear the slow, but certain undertones of the erosion of religious freedoms"

    What about our relgious freedom? It doesn't count because we believe differently than you? Hypocrite, thy screen-name is Rw123.


    If these laws are "not needed" than we can remove the laws that protect the religious, race or gendered too, right? Also, giving anybody a "religioius" exemption just allows continued discrimination.


    "No group needs special rights. It will just be abused."

    Then get rid of the protections on the religious. You can see how they're abusing the system.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 7, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    * A sixty year old person may not gain employment due to age.

    * A person looking like a linebacker maybe hired over someone shorter, and more filled out.

    * An attractive women may get employed over plain Jane.

    You become creative, and overcome these things without whining to government for help. I've seen many become successful because of their effort with over coming life's unfairness.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 7, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    In 2012, Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the firing of a disabled teacher at a Lutheran school.
    Religious institutions are given broad protections over hiring and firing policies and discrimination claims.

    Religious institutions are exempt from the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. (Explains why LDS chapels aren't required to have any automatic doors).

    BUT an institution or business which hires non-adherents and serves non-adherants (like a Catholic university or hospital) may be subject to such laws.

    Churches and religious institutions in the U.S. have broad protections, contrary to those pushing the "war against religion" would have us believe. There are many other countries, ignored by the "war against religion," crowd where freedom of religion is actually under attack.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    "Firing someone just because they are gay is not religious freedom, it's bigotry"

    And getting someone fired in California because they supported Prop. 8 is what?

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    Nov. 7, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    No group needs special rights. It will just be abused.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Nov. 7, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    @Chris B --

    "Even most 4 year olds know what makes someone a man and what makes someone a woman."

    What do YOU think makes someone a man or a woman, Chris?

    Is a person with XXY chromosomes male, or female?

    Is a person with XO chromosomes male, or female?

    Is a person who has a uterus and ovaries, but also testes and other male anatomy, male, or female?

    Is a person with a male-appearing body, but a female-functioning brain, male, or female?

    These should be simple questions for you to answer -- right?

    In reality, the transgender issue is a real problem -- and discrimination, including violence, against transgendered individuals happens very frequently.

    But of course that's only one small part of this legislation.

    People are legally fired just for being gay, all across this country, all the time. Something as simple as saying "I'm going to the movies with my boyfriend" can get you fired. It's been illegal to discriminate against women and racial minorities for years -- and it's way past time to extend the same protections to LGBT people.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    Many of the comments on here demonstrate why this law is required.

  • Liddle Bruda Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    My Religion tells me that Straight people are evil and devil worshipers. So I make sure to fire any employee that I know is straight! And when renting out my apartment complex I make sure straight people aren't allowed there because of the the straight things they are doing.

    This is a ridiculous supposition, but it is MY freedom of religion to discriminate against anyone I want!

    The truth of the matter, is a business does not have a religion and is in the public square to serve all of the public. All this bill does is make sure that people are protected from unfair bias that has nothing to do with their work ethic.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    Wow! Some mean-spirited comments are allowed to be slipped through the public forum censors again today. I am losing more faith in the sincerity of the Deseret News' mission to enrich the world when I see more of this happening on the readers' forums.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    "If you listen carefully enough, you'll hear the slow, but certain undertones of the erosion of religious freedoms,"

    Firing someone just because they are gay is not religious freedom, it's bigotry.

    "Don't we have existing laws that prohibits discrimination against race, religion, gender, etc? "

    Right, but we don't have one for sexual orientation.

    "Rather than understanding that such laws are non-sense and are not needed "

    Completely false. Heck, at Penn State we had girls thrown off the womens' basketball team because the coach perceived them to be lesbians.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    So every time I don't hire a gay applicant or fire a gay employee for legitimate reasons, I'm going to get sued, right?

    So we've created a protected class based on chosen lifestyle. ..... Nice.

    All in the name of political correctness.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    "The Senate rejected an amendment sponsored by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania that would have expanded the number of groups that are covered under the religious exemption. Opponents argued that it would undermine the core bill."

    It looks to me as though the supports of the bill don't like religious people because they might "undermine" support for such legislation.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    Chris B, you really ought to research the subject of transgendered individuals before delivering wildly simplistic and just plain incorrect pronouncements about people who undergo gender change surgeries.

  • Doogie South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    Wow Chris B when things don't involve the Utes you actually make a lot of sense!

    Why do people continue to disparage Mike Lee when the real culprit is the RHINO Orrin Hatch. He is voting for more frivolous lawsuits and government red tape with this bill. Why is no one addressing the fact that Hatch has a lower approval rating than Lee? I wonder why? Could it be that Lee at least has the convictions to stand up for the constitution and keeping government out of our lives. How is Obamacare treating everyone? Doesn't seem like it is too popular and that our president has been lying to the American public for years. Maybe Lee was a bit smarter than everyone else back there and didn't bow down to pressure or the Elite viewpoints. Hatch once voted against this bill, what happened? Does he have a spine?

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    Chris B,

    The vote wasn't on gender reassignment or who uses which restroom. It was specifically on could a business fire someone solely for being identified as gay. This is a fairness issue. I'm not a supporter of gay rights to any extreme, but this is a fairness issue. Should we economically persecute people if we don't agree with their opinions or private lifestyle, especially if those opinions or lifestyles do not affect the workplace? I don't think we should.

    And if gays are granted protections in the workplace, perhaps they can return the favor and not seek to push religious opinions or practices out of the public space.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    Really??? This is an issue that really needs attention? Now? I think that the discrimination might be running in the opposite direction. This is a set-up to make people think that conservatives are homo-phobic and don't want gay people to be treated the same as everyone else. Both are lies. The Senate is trying to set up the House on this one. Rather than understanding that such laws are non-sense and are not needed - and may lead to more problems than solutions - those in the Senate that voted for it are trying to drive a wedge between conservative America and Progressive Amerika. Nice going, Orrin. You have sold out once again. Never ceasing to disappoint...

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 4:07 p.m.


    I know, isn't it funny. We should also start supporting "age reassignment" for people who think they are a different age than they are. And species reassignment, for people who don't feel like humans but different species. It's all too funny!

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    Don't we have existing laws that prohibits discrimination against race, religion, gender, etc?

    This is just liberals creating work for their pals, trial laywers, so they pass their outrages fees to the rest of us

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    And when House Republicans go on record as opposing ENDA, which we all know they will, they'll return to the hoots and harrumphs of approval from within their gerrymandered infra-red districts... and then wonder what went wrong when they lose control of the House in 2014.

  • rw123 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    If you listen carefully enough, you'll hear the slow, but certain undertones of the erosion of religious freedoms, even though they are supposed to be protected by the constitution. There are portent's in the wind of this erosion.

    Those who say otherwise are either blind to the trends or specifically omitting the erosion from their dialogue, hoping we won't notice.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    @The Rock,

    Isnt it funny that some people seem to think a doctor can change someone's gender? The irony too is a person who undergoes such a surgery seems to be admitting they are not the gender they wish to be, if they feel they need to change something in order to try and be the gender they wish they were. Silly liberals, trying to change the definition of what is a man and what is a woman. Even most 4 year olds know what makes someone a man and what makes someone a woman.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    Senator Lee is waiting to cause another Seven Billion Dollar needless government shutdown.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    "Gender reassignment"? I just love the every growing PC lexicon...

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    @The Rock,

    The crazy thing is most liberals support anyone using whichever restroom they feel most comfortable with, surgery or not.

    So in other words, they support any male in the world who simply says "I am a woman" being able to walk in any female restroom/locker room in the world.

    Be careful what you ask for. Every high school male could "decide to be a woman" whenever he wanted, and switch back and for whenever he wanted to as well.

    Besides, surgery doesn't change anything.

    Similarly, me asking a doctor to sew wings on my arms wouldn't turn me into a bird, just as a man asking a doctor to alter his physical appearance doesn't make him anything other than a man who has asked a doctor to alter his physical appearance.

    There was an ABC article yesterday about a man who thinks he is a dog. Lots of similarities to those who may indeed THINK they are a different gender than competent medical professionals have concluded.

  • paintandestroy Richmond/Cache, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    All else being equal, good luck getting the job if your not the gay applicant

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 7, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    We had a guy going through gender reassignment surgery where I work. One day HR sent out an email to all employees stating the company policy allows a person going through this procedure, to begin using the restrooms of the targeted gender, once the procedure reaches a certain place.

    All the ladies protested.

    Votes have consequences.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    Mike Lee voted to continue discriminating against LGBT citizens. No surprise there.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    You know --
    If the Equal Rights Amendment had passed,
    we wouldn't be needing to spend all this time and money spelling out each and every little laws one issue at a time.

    Nov. 7, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    And this is news that Lee voted NO? Just when has he voted yes on any thing? Oh wait he voted yes to shut down the Government, my bad.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    "reality that the Republican-led House, where conservatives have a firm grip on the agenda, is unlikely to even vote on the legislation. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, maintains his longstanding opposition to the measure, arguing that it is unnecessary and certain to create costly, frivolous lawsuits for businesses."

    Well done Boehner

    Keep up the good work!

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Nov. 7, 2013 1:17 p.m.