Gay marriage verdict may affect proposed Utah nondiscrimination bill

The U.S. Supreme Court’s verdict on same-sex marriages in Utah is going to adversely affect the proposed nondiscrimination law.

The proposed law that bats for nondiscrimination is expected to come up in Utah Legislature this year. Last year, the bill was cleared in a Senate committee but wasn’t debated in the house.

U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby has termed the ban on gay marriages as unconstitutional on December 20. After the judgment, around 1,300 gay couples moved to get state marriage licenses. But their dreams shattered when the Apex Court halted the lower court’s verdict granting legal status to the same sex marriages. The environment has changed after the Apex Court’s verdict as the issue of same sex marriage is among the most debated issues statewide.

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Meanwhile, opponents of the proposal say nondiscrimination laws came first in those states that allow gay-union.

“We have just proven that is not the case,” said Brandie Balken, executive director of Eqaulity Utah. Balken is the supporter of same-sex weddings and nondiscrimination bill.

Laura Bunker, president of United Families Utah, said that she will continue to oppose the bill as she believes there is deep connection between same-sex weddings and nondiscrimination laws.

United Families Utah is among the 19 organizations that make up the First Freedoms Coalition.  First Freedoms Coalition was formed to fight the proposed nondiscrimination law.

The proposed nondiscrimination bill aims at prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in housing and employment practices. Moreover, it will also address issues related to workplace dress standards and shared washroom/restroom facilities.