Utah Advocacy Group Calls for Meeting with the Governor after His Remarks Show Need for Information about Bias against Sexual Minorities

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"In Utah, it is currently legal to fire an employee based solely on the fact that they are not heterosexual," said Foundation for Reconciliation founder, Cheryl L. Nunn. "The governor's comparison of discrimination against 'blue-eyed blonds' to the discrimination that LGBT people experience betrays a lack of understanding of or about the precarious situation sexual minorities face in Utah's workplaces.

Leaders from the Foundation for Reconciliation called for a meeting with Utah Governor Gary Herbert after he said that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people do not need legal protection from discrimination.

The Foundation wants the governor to establish a task force to determine the facts and to educate state officials and the public. "In Utah, it is currently legal to fire an employee based solely on the fact that they are not heterosexual," said Foundation for Reconciliation founder, Cheryl L. Nunn. "The governor's comparison of discrimination against 'blue-eyed blonds' to the discrimination that LGBT people experience betrays a lack of understanding of or about the precarious situation sexual minorities face in Utah's workplaces.

"On Thursday, August 29, Governor Herbert stated that 'We don't have to have a rule for everybody to do the right thing.' But that is exactly why we have rules and laws. All laws against discrimination based on social identity are there because people do not always do the right thing. Governor Herbert needs to help all of us do the right thing by eradicating policies and practices that take jobs and homes away from LGBT individuals and their families just because of who they are.
"We are asking him to meet with members of the Foundation for Reconciliation, and others who can help inform both lawmakers and the public about the legally sanctioned discrimination sexual minorities continue to face in Utah.

"Once we meet with the Governor and he hears the stories of discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens of Utah," said Cheryl L. Nunn, "We believe Governor Herbert will say yes to our request for a task force to look into and correct inequities in Utah's laws that unfairly deny rights afforded to the heterosexual majority to sexual minorities."

The Foundation for Reconciliation was established to foster a climate for reconciliation between the LDS church and the LGBT community. In addition to education, and charitable programs the organization has begun a petition that will be delivered to the Mormon Church's First Presidency on the first anniversary of the passage of Prop. 8, November 4th, 2009. It calls for forgiveness on all sides, recognition of responsibility, and a beginning to the healing. For more information please visit http://www.ldsapology.org.

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