Gay rights bill heads for first hurdle in Senate

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  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    Why is another law needed? What rights are gays looking for that they currently don't have. There is already a law on the books that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. What is different about this particular law?

    In addition, this is all fluff because the Senate doesn't want to address what is ailing this country. Poor economy, Obamacare, deficit spending..........I guess this is easier. Why tackle the real difficult issues when you can pass this instead.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Nov. 5, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    People have the right to change their views whenever they like, but Hatch seems to do it much more than most.

    His whole political career seems to be centered on maintaining his voter base.

    Maybe when he realizes that the great majority of Utahans and US citizens want gun control, his change his view on assault rifles too.

  • Contrariusiests mid-state, TN
    Nov. 5, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    @funny_guy --

    "What part of limited government don't they understand! The role of government is clearly defined and it does not include dictating morality."

    I guess you forgot that part of the US Constitution where ALL citizens are guaranteed equal protection under the law. Some people do need that reminder -- therefore, the need for anti-discrimination laws.

  • funny_guy Vacaville, CA
    Nov. 5, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    Every time legislation affecting the workplace is passed, employees suffer.

    Raising the minimum wage translates into fewer jobs for teens. Requiring benefits for full-time employment means fewer full-time positions. There is always a way for businesses to skirt the law.
    If an employer wants to get rid of someone they will find a way, no matter what laws are passed.

    Morality can NOT be legislated -- this is just another ploy by politicians to try and buy votes.

    Free enterprise can deal with such issues as work place discrimination. If a store discriminates then inform the public and let them decide what to do. If enough people stop frequenting a store, either the store will change their ways or go out of business.

    Mayor Bloomberg is trying to dictate all sorts of moral issues upon businesses in NYC, i.e. limiting the size of fountain drinks. Those who want more will simply get a refill or purchase two drinks. This sort of elitism just doesn't work in a free society.

    What part of limited government don't they understand! The role of government is clearly defined and it does not include dictating morality.

  • Contrariusiests mid-state, TN
    Nov. 5, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    @SCfan --

    "Most judges would have seen the word "sex" in the current law as covering all people."


    Welcome to the real world. People get fired just for being gay all the time.

    @Badgerbadger --

    "And sexual orientation doesn't belong on a job application. It is a private matter...."

    Compare these two statements:

    "I'm going to the movies with my girlfriend tonight."

    "I'm going to the movies with my boyfriend tonight."

    Either one of those statements would be common enough in any employees' breakroom.

    But if you're a man, you can legally be fired for daring to say one of them -- if you happen to live in a state with no anti-gay-discrimination laws.

    A coupla examples:

    Lisa Howe -- former college soccer coach in Nashville -- fired in 2010 after she told her team that she and her female partner were having a baby.

    Vandy Beth Glenn -- former legislative editor of the Georgia General Assembly -- fired in 2005 when she told her boss that she was transsexual and was going to begin dressing/presenting as a woman.

    There are many many more examples out there, but I'm out of space!

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 5, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    Agreed that sexual orientation is private and doesn't belong on a job application (and it rarely is). However, employers can make reasoned inferences based on an employee's (or an applicant's) appearance and record. Your "they wouldn't know" argument is too simplistic and naive. As one who has reviewed resumes and interviewed job applicants, I know this happens. Religion does not belong on a resume either, but in this state, if you see a foreign language proficiency and a two-year gap in an employment record (or "charitable work") on a resume, you can bet the applicant is LDS. Same if you see the lines of temple garments through the clothes. Similarly, for LGBT folks, there are suggestive clues (not necessarily accurate; some are based on inaccurate stereotypes). Further, LGBT antidiscrimination laws are generally based on the employer's perception of status (whether accurate or not). They would protect an effeminate straight man that an employer thought was gay from unlawful discharge, too.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 5, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    Bob K,
    no, Obamacare tells people they have to believe as the state believes, offer all the products the state views as correct whether or not the indivudal views them as immoral or evil. The fact that BO and Sebelius have carved out exemptions for church owned businesses such as hospitals proves Obamacare discrminates against religion. They have tried to mitigagte that discrimination for the church owned hospitals, but PERSONS of faith get no such reprieve.

    You liberals are ALWAYS complaining about citizens united, but here, where the organization is treated better than the individual, you APPLAuD it because in your minds it is justified. It must be nice to have such a convenient double standard.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 5, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    "The anti-discrimination bill faces strong opposition from conservative groups ..."

    Because they just love being able to discriminate against LGBT people; it's what "god" wants them to do.


    States that already have non-discrimination laws on the books that include sexual orientation or identity have not seen an increase in "frivolous" lawsuits, there's no reason to expect that to change if the law is on a national level. And, since when it is "frivolous" to file a lawsuit if you're unjustly fired? You can sue for being fired due to your religious persuasion (which is clearly a choice), why should you not be able to obtain redress if you're fired for being gay? Your Jesus commanded you to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Why is it so hard for you conservatives to understand that he said exactly what he meant?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Nov. 4, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    As the liberals applaud Hatch for voting for this bill, we conservatives just get reaffirmed in the knowledge that he has changed sides, which we have been saying for years. He just hasn't changed the letter after his name. It would be nice if Hatch (and Matheson) would just admit who they are and what they really stand for, instead of pretending they are Utah conservatives.

    If this passes, non-discriminatory businesses will have to defend themselves against frivolous lawsuits if they unknowingly hire someone heterosexual when someone homosexual had an application in too.

    And sexual orientation doesn't belong on a job application. It is a private matter. If left that way, no one would discriminate against anyone of any sexual orientation, because they wouldn't know. So simple, completely free, but it wouldn't give government more power to lord over us, so liberals will never go for it.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Nov. 4, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    This legislation really isn't going to change or accomplish much. Most judges would have seen the word "sex" in the current law as covering all people. The Democrats are just looking for an easy win for themselves and Obama, and hoping to get a wedge issue against Republicans. What should happen is the Republicans vote 100% in favor, and pull the rug out from the Democrats. After passage, it will be quickly forgotten and the Democrats will have to look for another straw man vote.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 4, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    I like Senator Hatch a lot more when he doesn't have an impending re-election, he acts a lot more like the statesman he is.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Nov. 4, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    lost in DC
    West Jordan, UT
    hatch is willing to passively sit back while obamacare discriminates against people of faith, but he backs this legislation. his term cannot expire soon enough.

    NO: Obamacare tells churches who run businesses, such as hospitals, that they cannot discriminate against women employees who do not share the church's belief.
    Obamacare tells religious folks who own businesses that they cannot discriminate against women who do not share the same belief.

    This is America: If Mary and Joan each have minimum wage jobs, but Mary works for a catholic hospital or a store owned by a religious nut, she may have to choose between shoes for the kids and birth control pills, while Joan is safe to take care of her family without burdening it with more unwanted children.

    It is conservative to have free birth control: society ends up paying for the education, the health care, etc, of unwanted children.

    The "no birth control" idea is simply so churches will gain more members by more births -- it has NOTHING to do with God or Jesus, no matter how the churches pretend it does.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 4, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    Besides Heller, four other Republican senators are backing the legislation — Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — and proponents expect a few others to support it.


    Thank You Senator Hatch.

    At least ONE Utah Senator isn't in it for self-aggrandizement.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 4, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    hatch is willing to passively sit back while obamacare discriminates against people of faith, but he backs this legislation. his term cannot expire soon enough.

    Pelosi laments that Boehner may not allow the legislation to come to a vote in the house if the senate passes it. where was she when harry would not allow a senate vote on house-passed legislation?

  • Contrariusiests mid-state, TN
    Nov. 4, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    "Americans ought to be judged by one thing only in their workplaces: their ability to get their jobs done,"


    "Boehner "believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs.""

    Suuuuure. Like "frivolous" lawsuits against racial "frivolous" lawsuits against gender discrimination -- right?

    "Equal rights" means equal rights for ALL citizens. Maybe Boehner needs to go back and study the Constitution a little bit more thoroughly.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 4, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    Bravo to Sen. Hatch for his leadership on this issue. (That's an exceptionally rare statement from this quarter.)