In his farewell speech to the U.S.
Senate on Wednesday, Orrin Hatch, a conservative Republican from
Utah, called for protecting the LGBT community from “invidious
According to The
Washington Post, Hatch, a Mormon, called for protecting
“our LGBTQ brothers and sisters” from “invidious
discrimination,” a possible endorsement of the Equality Act, which
would protect LGBT individuals from discrimination in employment,
housing, credit, education and public accommodations.
Pelosi promises top priority for LGBT Equality Act, if Democrats
“Religious liberty is a fundamental
told fellow senators. “It deserves the very highest protection
our country can provide. At the same time, it’s also important to
[take] account of other interests as well – especially those of our
LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Pluralism shows us a better way. It shows
us that protecting religious liberty and preserving the rights of
LGBTQ individuals are not mutually exclusive. I believe we can find
substantial common ground on these issues that will enable us to both
safeguard the ability of religious individuals to live their faith
and protect LGBTQ individuals from invidious discrimination.”
Hatch, 84, scored zero on the Human
Rights Campaign's (HRC) latest Congressional Scorecard, which
measures a lawmaker's support for LGBT rights. HRC included support
for the Equality Act in determining a lawmaker's score.
In the 1970s, Hatch was a vocal
opponent of allowing “homosexuals” to be teachers, saying that
they have a “psychological deficiency.”
“I wouldn't want to see homosexuals
teaching school any more than I'd want to see members of the American
Nazi Party teaching school,” Hatch told a group of University of
While Hatch in 2013 said that marriage
equality was inevitable, he has yet to endorse such unions.