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Enlightenment in Salt Lake City, Utah…

Good morning, Netizens...

[Portions AP Press, Salt Lake City Tribune]

Tuesday night Salt Lake City, Utah City Council passed legislation that bans discrimination against gays in housing and unemployment, and the legislation was passed with the endorsement of the Mormon Church. This is not to say the Mormon Church is suddenly getting warm and fuzzy over gay rights; in fact last year their strenuous involvement was key in the passage of California's Proposition 8, which bans gay, lesbian and transgender relationships.

Generally speaking, Utah lawmakers tend to “toe the line” when the church makes a policy decision, as over 80% of lawmakers and the governor are Mormons. In the past the church has stated that traditional male-female marriages are central to God's plan. Gays are welcome in church, but must remain celibate to retain church callings and full membership.

In keeping with that, in August 2008 the church issued a statement saying it supported gay rights related to hospitalization, medical care, employment, housing or probate as long as they "do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."

However, the passage of this city ordinance is no guarantee that either county nor state legislative bodies will pass similar laws, according to the Salt Lake Tribune ( ).

However, Stan Penfold, a gay man and the director of Utah Aids Foundation, has won the race to fill Salt Lake City’s District 3 council seat. Plus there are three openly-gay state legislators.

The statute, as crafted, requires annual reports by the city's Human Rights Commission on the effectiveness of the statutes.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.