Ogden is the latest Utah municipality
to consider gay protections measures.
Nine municipalities have already
followed Salt Lake City's lead in approving legislation protecting
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.
In October 2009, Salt Lake City
approved two groundbreaking ordinances that make it illegal to
discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity
(transgender protections) in the areas of employment and housing.
The laws exempt religious organizations, employers with 15 or fewer
employees and landlords with fewer than four rental units. A
surprise eleventh-hour endorsement from the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) helped advance the legislation past
the finish line.
According to the Standard-Examiner,
Ogden City Attorney Gary Williams began drafting similar ordinances
after the issue was discussed at a 90-minute meeting between gay
activists and city officials.
“It was quite a productive meeting,”
Brandie Balken, executive director of Equality Utah, the state's
largest gay rights advocate, told the paper “It's definitely our
intention to work with local governments to have an ordinance that
represents the best policy for each municipality.”
Other municipalities that have approved
similar measures include Park City – home of the Sundance Festival
– Logan, West Valley, Taylorsville, Murray, Moab, Salt Lake County,
Summit County and Grand County.