Utah Aims to Ban LGBT Discrimination, Preserve Religious Freedom

On March 12, 2015, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed new legislation aimed at banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, while preserving religious liberty.

The new law, the “Antidiscrimination and Religious Freedom Amendments” (SB 296), amends state law by banning discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but provides certain exemptions based on religious grounds. Many Utahns came together to help pass the bill, including a vast array of religious and LGBT community leaders, according to the governor.

“I have no doubt that the eyes of the nation are upon us as we have shown a way to resolve a somewhat contentious issue in a very satisfactory manner,” said Gov. Herbert during the signing ceremony. “I do believe that what we have done here will become a model for the rest of the country of how they, too, can resolve these issues in their own respective states, as we find the right balance necessary to discourage discrimination while protecting religious liberty.”

Sources: Utah Governor’s Office; Utah Legislature