Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Will Lawmakers Pass a Statewide Non-Discrimination Bill?

A recent Utah Policy poll shows a majority of Utahns would like lawmakers to pass a statewide non-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation. Our "Political Insiders" aren't very optimistic that will happen in 2015.

69% of Republicans and 70% of Democrats on our insider panel say it's unlikely that the legislature will pass such a bill next year. Our readers are even more pessimistic as 79% say it's unlikely lawmakers will pass that legislation.



Selected anonymous comments:

"Everything depends on the state's appeal of same-sex marriage. The only way lawmakers approve a non-discrimination bill is if the Supreme Court rules on the side of traditional marriage. If same-sex marriage wins the day (which most everyone assumes it will), lawmakers won't see a need to pass a non-discrimination ordinance."

"Lawmakers are always behind the majority."

"Lawmakers will not entertain the measure to avoid a revealing fact; They know whats better for the citizen voter than the citizen doing the voting."

"This will take a huge lobbying effort to pass."

"There are two issues here. First, there is still too much influence from Gayle Ruzicka clouding this issue. When I tell legislators that the LDS Church sent a spokesperson to support SLC's ordinance and that this is the law passed in many cities by LDS Mayors and City Council members, it's like they are dumbfounded. I think it will literally take the LDS Church reiterating its stance – that it supports laws that protect LGBTQ persons in housing and employment while not supporting marriage. Second, the gay activist community blew it last year with their activism stunts. They had Senator Urquhart spilling his blood for them, and they go and get arrested and block and interrupt the proceedings on the capitol. The Senator was working as hard as he could, and instead of peacefully approaching legislators to advocate like the civil rights movements of past years, they decide to violate the first commandment of activism: thou shalt not make it harder for thy bill sponsor through your own poor personal choices. Then the Senator arranges a listening meeting, and the activists aren't happy with that but then finally realize it may be their only shot after the problems they were causing for themselves. They bit the hand that was trying to help them, and it killed their bill last year. I know a gay person reading this might say 'I am tired of being mistreated and shouldn't have to wait and I am fed up, why shouldn't I raise a fuss.' They're right. However, they need to take the long view with political change in Utah and will find that their efforts will go much farther that way."

"The best evidence that Utah held no animus against LGBT Utahns by passing Amendment 3 would be to pass a nondiscrimination statute. That's not going to happen because the legislature simply has too much animus against LGBT Utahns."

"Rural residents who do not see any problem will oppose it, and none of their largely Republican representatives will have the guts to oppose their constituents."

"Given any NORMAL political and cultural setting, this would be a non brainer, but this is 'Happy Valley' so never bet the farm on granting the political will."

"It should pass. As a conservative Republican I support it, the LDS church supports it, the Catholic church supports it, it passed the salt lake county council unanimously, and 60 percent of Utah supports it. Pass it!"

"Homophobia's birthplace is the State Capitol in Utah and it ain't going to change until we elect new representatives. Sorry, but true political fact."

"Non-discrimination ordinances are a waste of time."

"Depends if you get delegates, non-gay activists involved in the effort. It needs to be seen as a community effort."

"When have legislators cared about what we want, even if there is a majority?"

"While amendment 3 is still before the courts, the legislature won't touch the issue."

"Property rights are at the core issue. If a bill can be drafted in a way that protects business too, then it might have a chance. The other challenge is the highly fractured LGBTQ community. If one group doesn't like a part of the bill or the way the legislature acts, all they have to do to kill the bill is march on the Capitol and tie themselves to a chamber door. They just don't get it. It's too bad."

"I don't think it will pass and I don't support it."

"Long overdue, but too hot of a topic for legislators to touch in any meaningful way. The imbalance of male LDS legislators creates a religious thinking barrier that while not intentional is still unfortunate and predetermines the outcome."

"They won't even hold open debate on the bill. Why would they pass it?"

"You are making a big assumption here. GOP legislators care about other people's opinions. I'm not holding my breath."

"I don't think they'll move on this until the Supreme Court has decided on the Utah cases that are still moving. And then it'll take a few years of licking their wounds before they act to ensure greater justice. Hell, they might even take out retribution on the gay members of our communities when the SCOTUS goes against them."

"It was agreed upon last session, but killed when activists made it a hot-button issue. It'll pass in 2015."