Monday, September 20, 2010

A brief history of anti-discrimination ordinances in Utah

After years of inaction from the Utah Legislature, the Salt Lake City council passed the first anti-discrimination ordinances in Utah on Nov. 11, 2009. They prohibited employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints publicly supported them. In fact, Michael Otterson, managing director of Church public affairs, testified in favor of the ordinances before the Salt Lake City council saying that it was a matter of human dignity.

After that initial success, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said he hoped the ordinances could be used as a model for other cities to implement. Building on the momentum, Equality Utah, a nonprofit working for a just and fair Utah, set the goal of having 10 communities in Utah pass similar anti-discrimination ordinances in 2010. To date, Salt Lake County, Park City, Logan, West Valley City, Summit County, and Taylorsville have all passed anti-discrimination ordinances. Provo and Orem can be next.

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