With the backing of Mormon church leaders, the Republican-dominated Utah Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday night that would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in housing and employment, while also protecting religious institutions that object to homosexuality.Obviously we'll have to wait and see how this works out in practice. But it seems to me that something like this is the only possible solution in diverse America. We're simply not going to agree on this, for a long time if ever, and so working out ways to tolerate each other's views is imperative.
The legislation, known as “the Utah compromise,” has been hailed by Mormon leaders and gay rights advocates as a breakthrough in balancing rights and religious freedom, and as a model for other conservative states. . . .
Religious organizations and their affiliates, such as colleges and charities, would be exempted. It also would exempt the Boy Scouts of America, which voted in 2013 to end a ban on gay scouts but still prohibits gay scout leaders. The bill also would protect employees from being fired for talking about religious or moral beliefs, as long as the speech was reasonable and not harassing or disruptive.
The bill, however, does not address what has become one of the most divisive questions on gay rights nationwide: whether individual business owners, based on their religious beliefs, can refuse service to gay people or gay couples — for example, a baker who refuses to make a cake for a gay wedding.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
The Utah Compromise
In Utah, a sign that the Republic may not be doomed after all: