(KCPW News) Two Ogden city ordinances unanimously adopted by the city council last night protect the LGBT community from discrimination in employment or housing, but they include some exemptions unique to Ogden. They originally passed last week on a 4-to-3 vote, but Mayor Matthew Godfrey promised to veto them if changes weren’t made. The new language protects the right to speak out against homosexuality, but doesn’t allow religious beliefs to be an excuse to discriminate. Ogden City Councilman Bart Blair says the revised ordinances provide equal protection for the LGBT community and religious freedom.
“It was a very fair balance of representing both sides, which I thought was a great credit to those involved who worked tirelessly to come up with that language,” said Blair.
Ogden City itself is exempt from the ordinances, but Mayor Godfrey signed an executive order providing the same protections for city employees. He says the way they were drafted originally put the city at an unfair disadvantage.
“We were opened up to costs and legal issues that nobody else had and so the language we put together with the administrative order puts us much closer to the same level of responsibility that every other employer would have within the city,” Godfrey told KCPW.
The revised housing ordinance also exempts renters who are on separate contracts in a shared space. Ogden is now the 12th Utah city or county to adopt nondiscrimination ordinances. Others include Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Murray and Midvale.
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