2014 Bills

SB100: Punishing Property Owners for Not Employing or Renting to LGBT Utahns

This bill was not considered. Visit our Legislative Index to see the final vote rankings for the 2014 general session.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill.

Last year, Senator Urquhart ran a bill to prohibit employers and landlords from discriminating against people based on their “gender identity” or “sexual orientation.” The bill narrowly passed a Senate committee but never received a vote in the Senate, and therefore died.

Urquhart has brought the bill back this year. SB100 comes at a controversial time when over 1,000 same-sex marriages have been performed in the state following a ruling by a federal judge striking down Utah’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between only a man and a woman. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the ruling, but not before many Utah couples legally tied the knot.

LGBT Utahns, many of whom we consider friends and allies on other causes, will be pushing hard for this new protection in the marketplaceā€”seeking to legally prohibit property owners from discriminating against them based on these traits.

While we sympathize with those who experience difficulty in their lives, we are extremely hesitant to endorse the use of force against property owners without just cause. No person is entitled to the services or property of another. While the law already prohibits discrimination for certain things like race and religion, we prefer to see discrimination law abolished altogether; we oppose adding more things on to the current list of prohibitions against property owners.

Utahns are by and large good people. While unfair discrimination may occur from time to time, we do not think that the repeal of discrimination law would create an environment in which atheists, blacks, gays, or any other minority group in the state would suddenly be subjected to consistent discrimination.

Because we support property rights, we oppose this bill.