Study finds significant anti-gay workplace discrimination in Utah

Wed. January 19, 2011 7:37 AM by News Staff

Salt Lake City, Utah - A report from UCLA's Williams Institute set to be distributed to Utah's 104 legislators Wednesday morning found significant anti-gay bias and discrimination in the state, which is home to the Mormon Church.

The study, which is based on an Equality Utah survey of about 1,000 LGBT Utahns, found forty-four percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual Utahns and sixty-six percent of transgender people report that they had been fired, denied a job, or not promoted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Authors of the study estimate that for every 10,000 LGBT employees, 5 complaints of sexual orientation discrimination would be filed each year.

Same-sex workers in Utah also made less than heterosexual counterparts, with gay men making 20 percent less, according to the study.

There were also reports of verbal and physical harassment. Without protection from the government or a workplace policy within a company, there is very little recourse for an LGBT individual.

The study and its startling results are being released as Utah lawmakers consider a bill proposed by State Sen. Ben McAdamsto (D-Salt Lake City) to protect gays against housing and employment discrimination.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has given public support to Salt Lake City's anti-discrimination ordinance as the capital city became the first Utah government to offer such protections. Ten more Utah cities and counties have followed.