Republican leaders in both the Senate and House on advice of the attorney general have agreed not to hear any bills dealing with same-sex marriage or any other gay or lesbian issues while Utah is appealing a federal court ruling striking down Utah's constitutional ban on gay marriage.
"We want to stay focused on that effort, to defend our citizens' amendment, which passed by a large majority," said Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe. "So we have kind of taken the stance that we probably won't take a look at some of the religious freedom-type bills or the anti-discrimination bills, because a lot of rhetoric and discussion that would go along with those bills could have an effect on the court case."
Urquhart said a ban on discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has been proposed in the Legislature for five years long before the same-sex marriage ruling and has broad public support.
A poll conducted for The Salt Lake Tribune found that 60 percent of Utahns support a bill banning workplace and housing discrimination while 35 percent opposed it.
"While there is significant disagreement over the issue of same-sex marriage, there is not significant disagreement over non-discrimination," Urquhart said. "That's the job of legislative bodies, to do the will of the people, so it's time to pass … nondiscrimination laws statewide."