Taylorsville appears to be simply formality away from being the seventh community to pass ordinances which protect citizens from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in housing and employment. At a July 14 work meeting, the Taylorsville City Council considered the ordinances and voted for a change in staff-drawn drafts, which created a board to hear complaints.
Mayor Russ Wall introduced the measures, saying the city “floated this concept earlier this year, and since then our sister cities have moved forward.”
“I think it’s appropriate we bring these [ordinances] back and discuss some of the concepts, and we may want to put it on an agenda for passage,” he said.
Second District Councilman Morris Pratt started the discussion.
“I guess I want to start off with the million dollar question,” he said. “Why is our state not taking care of this?”
This question has been raised at nearly all public discussions of the measures, though it generally tends to be rhetorical in nature.
“One of my fears would be that as a state we have 15 communities that have different versions [of the ordinances],” said Pratt.
Third District City Councilman Jerry Rechtenbach said that the ordinances would not require a special board to hear complaints.
“I think we should consider these as ordinances adjudiated as any other ordinance in our code,” he said. “What I’m against is setting up another layer.”
District Four City Councilwoman Dama Barbour said, “I’m thinking when we do this we need to know what we are doing. Are we ready to do this?”
Wall answered, “That’s why we are having this discussion. We are close.”
“I just want to make sure that when we do it, we know what we are doing and do it right,” Barbour said.
The council decided to pass the measures to City Attorney John Brahms to make the changes discussed in the meeting and put the measures on the Aug. 4 meeting agenda.
Asked if the measures are likely to pass, Pratt said, “I don’t think there are any major concerns.”