Hatch wants special privilege for religious bigots to discriminate.
“It is wrong to fire someone for who they are and who they love,” said Clifford Rosky, chairman of the Equality Utah board and a law professor at the University of Utah. “It’s now high time for our Legislature to act on values that all Utahns share and protect all Utahns.”
Hatch supported a federal nondiscrimination law, but hinged his vote on a strong religious exemption. That bill cleared the Senate, but the House has no plans to vote on it.
Hatch argues that Obama should have included a wider exemption in his executive order, similar to the one in the Senate bill.
“Respect for the free exercise of religion is essential to our character as a nation and has, until recently, enjoyed strong support from leaders of all political persuasions,” Hatch said. “In seeking to curtail unjust discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, we must ensure that legal protections do not trample upon basic religious liberties.”
His position echoed what the White House heard from dozens of religious leaders and educators, who sent letters asking for a beefed-up exemption.