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News on anti-discrimination bills in Utah, Nebraska, and West Virginia

Adoption Right-wing Transgender Rights

By Scottie Thomaston

Yesterday, EqualityOnTrial covered the LGBT anti-discrimination bill in Utah that was reportedly backed by the Mormon church. That bill died in the legislature yesterday, before it even reached the floor:

on sexual orientation and gender identity died before it even hit the Senate floor.

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, announced Monday he would not bring SB 262 to the Senate floor for debate because there was not enough support in the chamber for it to be considered.

“Why, if we don’t have the votes, do we want to spend the time?” he told reporters.

SB 262, sponsored by Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, has gone the farthest in the six years non-discrimination bills have been run through the Utah State Legislature. At a news conference late Monday, the bill’s sponsors were frustrated it died so quickly.

“I’m disappointed there won’t be a roll call vote,” said Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, the only openly gay lawmaker in the legislature. “But that’s the way it goes in politics.”

The bill had passed out of the Senate committee but it appears legislators counted the votes and found there was a significant gap between the yes and no votes.

In other news, three bills affecting LGBT rights will be taken up in the judiciary committee in Nebraska on Thursday. There’s a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, and two related to anti-gay discrimination in adoption practices. More information on those bills, including the text of the bills, is here.

On Friday, an inclusive anti-discrimination bill was introduced in the West Virginia Senate. The bill bans discrimination against LGBT people in housing, and it also bans employment discrimination. The bill will reportedly be introduced in the House of Delegates in West Virginia soon.

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