Equality Utah Calls on Community to Support SLC Ordinance

Utah’s statewide gay and transgender rights group is asking members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to let the Salt Lake City Council know that they support two recently introduced ordinances barring workplace and housing discrimination in the city based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The proposed ordinances would create processes for receiving and investigating discrimination complaints, which could be resolved either through a mediation process or a fine of up to $1,000. The Human Rights Commission would also track complaints and their outcomes in yearly reports to gage their effectiveness. However, neither ordinance grants individuals the right to bring suit in court. Religious organizations, small businesses with fewer than 15 employees and landlords owning smaller units would be exempt from the ordinance.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker proposed what was then a single ordinance addressing both forms of discrimination in July after the city’s Human Rights Commission released a report. The report mentioned that all forms of discrimination, and especially discrimination based on race, sexual orientation and gender identity, were widespread problems within city limits.

Currently, state law does not include gay and transgender people in workplace or housing protections.

In an email message, Equality Utah encouraged gay and transgender Utahns and their allies to write, fax and email members of the Salt Lake City Council urging to pass the nondiscrimination ordinances favorably and to enact them now instead of in 2010.

“We are getting closer to a fair and just Utah,” wrote Will Carlson, the group’s Manager of Public Policy. “These calls and letters may be the most important political action you take all year. … It’s time we declared our place on the Common Ground of equal rights.”

The City Council’s contact information is as follows:

District 1: Carlton Christensen [email protected]

District 2: Van Turner [email protected]

District 3: Eric Jergensen [email protected]

District 4: Luke Garrott [email protected]

District 5: Jill Remington Love [email protected]

District 6: JT Martin [email protected]

District 7: Søren Simonsen [email protected]

Letters can be sent to
451 S. State Street, Room 304
P.O. Box 145476
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5476
(The P.O. Box should be included to ensure delivery)

The council may also be reached at (801) 535-7600 or (801) 535-7654, which is a 24 hour voicemail number, or by fax at (801) 535-7651.

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