In a unanimous decision Tuesday the Provo City Council asked their staff to begin researching housing and employment discrimination against the LGBTQ community in Provo.
Councilman Rick Healey said the issue was brought to the council by a special interest group, and that he has not personally heard of any discrimination in the city.
Healey said he is interested in seeing how ordinances have been implemented in other Utah cities like Salt Lake and Ogden—specifically, how common complaints are received and how they have been handled.
“It doesn’t really matter what our personal views are of the way others live. We may think it’s alright, we may think it’s not—but, everybody needs to be taken care of,” Healey said.
Councilman Sterling Beck, who brought the issue to the council, said in a comment to the media he thought an ordinance could improve the area’s ability to recruit out-of-state businesses by dispelling the idea that Utah is not as accepting as other states.
Healey said he has reservations about creating protected classes beyond those that are already in place.
“There’s a lot of people that would like to have themselves considered a protected class and we have to be careful, make sure we’re looking at this correctly, that we care about the people we’re dealing with and overall do the best thing for the city of Provo,” Healey said.
Unless it is brought to the state legislature first, Healey said he expects the council to take up the issue early next year when research is complete.