Pro-equality demonstrators converged on the Utah state capitol yesterday to demand state-level workplace and housing non-discrimination protections for LGBT people. The Daily Herald reports:
The group plans to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon to continue pressing for the law, which has been stalled this session. Republican leaders at the Legislature have called for a moratorium this year on any issues they fear could affect the state's pending legal challenge over its same-sex marriage ban.
St. George Republican Sen. Steve Urquhart, who is sponsoring the proposal, says it has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. The bill would bar discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in housing and employment... Despite Urquhart's arguments that his bill has nothing to do with same-sex marriage, the anti-discrimination ban has been netted in that moratorium.
The bill, which has appeared before the Legislature about half a dozen times, has traditionally been a Democratic proposal. With Urquhart's backing, last year was the first time a Republican sponsored the measure. It moved further than ever before, winning approval from a Senate committee, before it died.
Urquhart has vowed to run the bill every year until lawmakers pass it.
Yesterday's demonstrations were the first major pro-LGBT protests since equality activists were arrested for blocking the entrance to legislative committee rooms three weeks ago.