Utah: No Hearing on LGBT Rights

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 02 2011 2:50 PM ET

In a party-line vote, the Utah state senate Monday declined to schedule a hearing for a bill that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in housing and employment, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Democratic senator Ben McAdams (pictured), the sponsor, had tried to force a hearing on the bill, which is stalled in the senate rules committee, but senators rejected the move by a vote of 21-7, with Republicans in the majority.

In encouraging his fellow senators to allow a hearing, McAdams said, “Some of you may worry about the controversy and hateful e-mails you might receive. I believe the dialogue will be respectful and it will be constructive. ... I refuse to accept that religious liberty is incompatible with protection of gay and transgender people in their home and on the job.”

Rules committee chair Margaret Dayton, however, said not every one of the 1,200 bill requests filed in the senate can get a hearing, and McAdams should not expect special treatment for his. Republican senator Chris Buttars added that he saw no need for the antidiscrimination bill: “I don’t know why we try to press these things out like this when there isn’t a demand for it.”