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Utah state rep’s third anti-gay bill would allow discrimination based on religion

Utah state rep’s third anti-gay bill would allow discrimination based on religion
LaVar Christensen

SALT LAKE CITY — In his third anti-gay bill of the 2011 Utah legislative session, extremist Republican LaVar Christensen has introduced legislation that would exempt anyone from local non-discrimination laws if they do it on religious grounds.

The latest Christensen hate-bill, HB 109, would amend the non-discrimination ordinances passed by 11 Utah cities and municipalities to exempt any person or business who discriminates as long as they say they do it because of their religion.

This is one we’ve been expecting since Christensen’s boss at the Sutherland Institute, Paul Mero, first suggested and started pushing the amendment after Salt Lake City first passed the non-discrimination ordinance in 2009.

This bill would allow any corporation, company or person to fire someone or evict them from their home because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, without any ramifications, as long as when investigated they claim that it was based on their religion.

Of course the bill provides no actual provisions to determine whether or not a person’s religion actually does encourage discrimination.

The bill’s language is so broad, it may actually mean discrimination against sex and possibly even race would be allowed on religious grounds as well.

Christensen’s first bill would strip the ability to create contracts between same-sex couples, and the second is a “family policy” bill which states Utah endorses only marriage between a man and a woman “as god created it.”

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