Gay activists lining up GOP support for 2 nondiscrimination bills

Gay activists lining up GOP support for 2 nondiscrimination bills

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A gay conservative group is lining up GOP sponsors for two nondiscrimination and rights bills in the 2010 legislative session.

Utah Log Cabin Republicans President Melvin Nimer says his group has four lawmakers who are interested in becoming sponsors, depending on what the terms of the legislation are. He is optimistic there will be more Republican support in general this session for gay rights.

"I think we'll have a lot more support, hopefully, from Republican legislators," Nimer told KSL Newsradio Monday. "We have lots of Democratic legislators who are supportive of these issues, but it's going to take Republicans to do."

Log Cabin Republicans are crafting two bills. One is being modeled after an ordinance recently approved by Salt Lake City that protected workers from being fired because of their sexuality. It was one of two ordinances endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"The language in what we're trying to put together is going to be almost identical to what Salt Lake City had," Nimer said.

The other bill amends state law to allow gay couples to adopt and gain custody of relatives. It prioritizes familial relation above Utah's cohabitation law.

"We're not trying to write marriage into the Constitution. That's already been taken care of with Amendment 3," Nimer said. "These are just basic civil rights that all people should be allowed to have."

Nimer declined to reveal who the Republican sponsors of the bills would be.

Log Cabin Republicans and other gay activists are meeting with Gov. Gary Herbert during an annual gathering Monday night.


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