Urquhart, Supporters Stand By LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

The main doors to the Utah Senate Chamber are covered in notes from supporters of SB 100, a bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT individuals in employment and housing in most cases.

The main doors to the Utah Senate Chamber are covered in notes from supporters of SB 100, a bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT individuals in employment and housing in most cases.

(KCPW News) On Friday, Republican Senator Steve Urquhart reaffirmed his support for his LGBT non-discrimination bill, SB 100. At an afternoon press conference, he encouraged Utahns to come to the Senate Chamber doors and post messages encouraging the Senate to hear SB 100.

“What I would like the people of Utah to do is come to the Capitol and let people know that this issue should be heard,” said Urquhart.

Posting a blue note on the Senate Chamber doors that simply said, “Hear SB 100,” Sen. Steve Urquhart entreated other Utahns to do the same in support of his LGBT anti-discrimination bill.

And many Utahns answered his call, plastering the Senate doors with blue notes, signs, and messages of encouragement for the Senate to find on Monday morning. It was a notable display, one that Senate President Wayne Niederhauser said underscores the emotion behind the issue.

“The energy that’s behind this issue this year, the anti-discrimination [issue]—and although there’s not a direct tie necessarily to the marriage issue, they are sister and companion issues—and so there is a lot of emotion out there,” Niederhauser said.

But the passion shown by Urquhart and his supporters is unlikely to sway Niederhauser, who believes SB 100 or other bills tangentially dealing with the same-sex marriage issue should be put off until the courts decide on the Constitutionality of Amendment 3.

“Let’s stop and pull our faculties here together and address other issues this session and wait for the process in the appeal take place,” Niederhauser said. “And we’ll come back at another time and address religious liberties and anti-discrimination.”

Urquhart says he’s unsure how discussion of his bill might affect court decisions on the same-sex marriage case, but he also says any debate on his bill shouldn’t have an effect—if the right tone is used.

“I mean, the concern is animus. That’s the word, is hatred. That, in the same-sex marriage case, we wouldn’t want to show that there’s hostility—animus—toward the LGBT community. If that’s the case, then let’s hear this bill, and let’s not show animus when we discuss it. Let’s show respect for LGBT individuals like we should show for every single individual,” Urquhart said.

SB 100 was introduced in the Rules Committee last week, but according to Sen. John Valentine, it is currently being held there at the request of Senate leadership. At this point, barring a vote by the committee to overrule Senate leaders, it seems unlikely that SB 100 will make it out of the Rules Committee.

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