A motion to move a statewide non-discrimination ordinance out of committee failed on Monday with a 21 to 7 vote.
The motion was made by Sen. Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake, the sponsor of the bill, as a last effort to move the bill out of the rules committee and into a public debate and hearing. The bill failed to move out of the rules committee last week and it appears that the bill will not move forward at all this year.
“This legislation is important because discrimination is real,” McAdams said. “While Utah is a warm and welcoming community that is not how we are perceived nationally.”
Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, the chairwoman of the rules committee, objected to moving the bill forward for debate.
“We have a process here where people can create bills and then they are sifted. We will not hear every bill,” Dayton said. “There doesn’t seem to be the interest in rules committee to lift it out.”
Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake, objected to Dayton’s assertion.
“Sifting should not be done in a manner that stops or stifles public comment on issues of our day.”
The bill, along with all other proposed gay-rights legislation is most likely dead. Despite polling data that indicate an extremely high support for anti-discrimination laws, many Utah legislators still don’t see a need.
Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, made famous for anti-gay comments made in 8: The Mormon Proposition, said he does not see support from the public or any need to discuss anti-discrimination laws.
“I think that this is one of those things, that we’ve heard the phrase, this is something going where to fix something that isn’t broken. I don’t know why we try to press these things out that, like this when there isn’t a demand for it,” Buttars said. “I believe the process has worked and we should turn down this proposal.”