Currently, Utah law prohibits workplace and housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy/childbirth, age, national origin, or disability. My SB 100 (Anti-discrimination Amendments) will add protections for sexual orientation/gender identity. People of any race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. still can be fired/evicted; but not because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
In other words, if a person is otherwise qualified, housing and employment decisions should not be based on that person’s sexual orientation/gender identity. This addition to the law is straight-forward and simple. Without hurting anyone, it will protect individuals. It will promote economic development. It is supported by a significant majority of Utahns.
Given the simplicity of the bill and the broad support for the bill, opponents of the bill have resorted to misleading the people. Clear dialogue is needed and welcome. But as part of that clear dialogue, I will call those intentional misstatements what they are: lies.
I will quickly clear up some of the lies. If the Sutherland Institute (Paul Mero), Eagle Forum (Gayle Ruzicka), Fair for All or any other opponent of the bill cares to point to specific provisions in the bill that support their (mis)statements highlighted below, I of course invite them to do so in the comments. (HINT: They won’t point to specific provisions or lines in the bill, because the lies they are spreading aren’t in the bill.).
The bill DOES NOT affect marriage in any way.
The bill DOES NOT require bakers to bake cakes for anyone they don’t want to serve.
The bill DOES NOT require florists to arrange flowers for anyone they don’t want to serve.
The bill DOES NOT change a thing regarding restrooms for school children.
The bill DOES NOT create exemptions that allow for discrimination. (This lie is particularly rich. Switching from arguing that Utah needs to discriminate more, Paul Mero flips to argue that the bill allows too much discrimination by carving out exemptions. All exemptions—like BYU housing, businesses with fewer than 15 employees and property owners with fewer than 4 dwellings—are in existing law and are not changed by my bill.).
Okay. After the lies are sorted out, the bill simply prohibits discrimination in housing/employment based on sexual orientation/gender identity. Utahns support the bill. It is time to pass it.