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Salt Lake City Debates Protecting Gay

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Ordinances that would provide housing and employment nondiscrimination protections for gay and lesbian Salt Lake residents are being opened to public comment today. The ordinances, touted as the first of their kind in the state, would make it illegal to fire or evict people solely because of their sexuality.

Jennifer Mayer-Glenn, the chairwoman of the city's Human Rights Commission, said the ordinances are much needed by Salt Lake City's gay and lesbian residents. "We have evidence that shows they are being discriminated against," Mayer-Glenn said, reports the Deseret News.

Earlier this year, the commission released a survey highlighting more than 300 cases of discrimination in the Salt Lake area.

The ordinances would establish a process within the city for tenants and employees to file complaints over discrimination based on sexual orientation. Currently, state laws do not protect LGBT Utahans from discrimination in housing or employment. If supported, the ordinances could pass and come into effect within the month.

Tuesday's public hearing starts at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Salt Lake City and County Building located at 451 S. State St.

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