Utah Legislature Kills LGBT-Rights Initiative

Yesterday, the Utah legislature killed the last of the bills proposed as part of the Common Ground Initiative, which sought to extend civil rights to same-sex couples, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. HB160 would have granted same-sex couples inheritance rights and the power to make medical decisions for one another. Other bills in the package would have expanded health care coverage, offered employment safeguards, and amended a resolution banning gay marriage to allow civil unions.

Despite the defeat, Equality Utah, the LGBT advocacy group which drafted the initiative, has resolved to reintroduce the bills again. “We are not giving up on these issues,” said executive director Mike Thompson. “The Common Ground Initiative is not a 2009 legislative agenda.” And they have some reason for hope: Public opinion has favored expanded rights for same-sex couples, and last week Daily Herald reported that conservative Governor Jon Huntsman announced support for Common Ground’s aims.

(Thanks, Religion Dispatches.)

Sources: Daily Herald, EqualityUtah.com, Religion Dispatches, Salt Lake Tribune

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