Park City, Utah lawmakers gave a green
light Thursday to protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
people from discrimination in the city, the Salt Lake Tribune
The action follows close on the heels
of implementation of the state's first such measure in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City approved two ordinances
last October that make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual
orientation or gender identity (transgender protections) in the areas
of employment and housing. The law, however, exempts religious
organizations, employers with 15 or fewer employees and landlords
with fewer than four rental units. At the time, passage appeared
iffy as socially conservative state lawmakers denounced the measure.
Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, called the action a “slippery
road.” But a surprise eleventh-hour endorsement from the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) eased lawmakers'
Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups,
however, warned other municipalities considering gay protections that
he would take legislative action if an ordinance that went beyond
Salt Lake City's was enacted.
Park City Mayor Dana Williams publicly
floated the idea of a gay protections law without exemptions.
In the end, lawmakers heeded Waddoups'
warning and included identical exemptions in its measure.
“I can live with matching Salt Lake
City for now,” Williams told the paper. “But it's something we
will follow because all classes should have protection from
the state's largest gay rights advocate, has launched Ten in 2010, a
campaign that aims to add 10 more cities or counties to the list of
municipalities with gay protections this year.
At least 7 additional Utah
municipalities are looking at taking similar action.