Gov. Herbert signs Utah’s LGBT non-discrimination bill into law as supporters cheer

Posted at 10:53 PM, Mar 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-13 00:53:12-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Governor Gary Herbert signed a historic bill at the State Capitol Thursday evening, paving the way for equal rights among members of the LGBT community.

The anti-discrimination law will protect people of all sexual orientation and gender identity when it comes to housing and employment.

Herbert could not wait to show off the new law to the hundreds of supporters who stood behind him and the law at the Capitol Rotunda.

"I do believe what we've done here will become a model for the rest of the country for how they too can resolve these issues in their own respective states," Herbert said.

Standing side-by-side, members of the LGBT community and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cheered together.

"LGBT people are people of faith too, and many of them are Mormon," said Erika Munson, of Mormons Building Bridges. "These are people, our neighbors, our brothers, our sisters, our family members, our fellow congregation members that we care about and they shouldn't be discriminated against."

Under the new law, employers cannot discriminate against job applicants and employees based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Property owners would also be banned from discriminating against LGBT people.

"We all have stories, I had a boyfriend who was fired when he brought me to a holiday party," said Troy Williams of Equality Utah. "This legislation will provide legal recourse for gay and transgender Utahns so that we have the freedom to live and work in the state we love."

Representative Brad Dee, the sponsor of the bill, said it was one of the longest and hardest bills he's ever worked on.

"Some will call it momentous, others will call it a miracle, some will call it historic, I just say it's Utah," Dee said.

Elder L. Tom Perry, LDS Quorum of the Twelve, was also on hand, and he was given a big dept of gratitude by the legislators for his support.

"We believe in fairness for all, we are anxious to move forward, I believe this is a great step," Perry said.