If you head on over to the HRC Blog today you’ll see a story of the HRC applauding themselves for the backing of Utah’s proposed non-discrimination bill S.B. 296, that extends employment and housing non-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity…….. somewhat.
“This is an extraordinary moment for the state of Utah, for LGBT Americans, and for the Mormon Church, which, by supporting this legislation, shows a willingness to align with others on the right side of history,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The desire exhibited by the Mormon Church to work toward common ground should serve as a model for other faith traditions here in the United States.”
It contains these consequential provisions:
- Employers would be prohibited from discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,
- All individuals would be afforded the same free-speech protections in their private lives and could not be fired for either supporting or opposing marriage equality,
- Landlords and property owners would be prohibited from discriminating against people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation,
- No religious exemptions from the non-discrimination provisions would be allowed for individuals or for-profit businesses.
While the HRC is spinning this there as “comprehensive” there are religious exemptions involved
848 (A) a religious organization, association, or society; or
849 (B) a nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in
850 conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society.
So just like the failed federal ENDA attenpt which HRC continued to stand behind and support while every other organization stood down after realizing the broad religious exemptions it held. Those same exemptions are indeed in the Utah bill and while individuals and businesses would not be able to discriminate without a religious affiliation. Those who have, which not only include churches and religious non-profits, but also schools, hospitals or an business affiliation to “religious organization, association, or society.” can. Which let’s face it is about 3/4 of Utah.
Don’t let the HRC spin fool you. This is nothing but another disastrous move by HRC who are willing to settle for “some” of our rights instead of “all” of them.