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LGBTQ Community Asks Lawmakers Hear Anti-Discrimination Bill
By Nadia Crow
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah)- It's standing room only in Senate Room 210. Two other overflow rooms were also filled to capacity. More than 250 came out in support of SB 100 or the LGBT anti-discrimination bill. The meeting started with stories full of pain.
"She said that if they had known I was gay during the interview process, they would not have hired me," said Justin Utly.
"It soon became obvious that people were not going to look at my skills or my experience. Eventually I was unable to maintain my own housing. I was attending Salt Lake Community College at the time I became homeless," said Rachel Heller.
And then calls for legislative help to protect what members of the LGBTQ community call their civil rights.
"My orientation much like my race, my gender, or ethnicity is not a voice but simply what defines us in our relationships," said Utly.
"Let my son come home and fill an empty chair and give him the freedoms and liberties that most of us take for granted," said LGBT ally Merrie Smithson.
"Please think of the whole story and the chapter you may write in his life when you think of future legislation," said Joey Eccleston.
Some of the legislators spoke, some cried, and some promised action.
"I know many of you personally I support each of you. I support equal rights for all of you," said Rep. Janice Fisher.
"I hope this is the start of something very fruitful," said Rep. Joel Briscoe.
"I have to go to bed thinking I'm not doing enough. And I apologize," said Rep. Luz Robles.
"We can and must do better for everyone," said Utah Senator Luz Robles.
But there was no timeline guaranteed for if or when the bill will ever be heard. While the state doesn't have an anti-discrimination bill in place, Holladay just passed its own ordinance last week. Equality Utah is hosting a phone bank this Saturdsg asking supporters to call lawmakers with their concerns.
12p-4p March 1st
175 w 200 s
Salt Lake City, UT