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Antidiscrimination Bill Dies Without a Senate Debate

Brian Grimmett

Republican Senator Stephen Urquhart’s LGBT antidiscrimination bill did not receive a vote on the Senate floor Monday, effectively killing it for this year’s legislative session.

By passing out of committee SB262, which would prohibit employers and landlords statewide from discriminating against homosexuals, made it further than any other similar legislation ever has. Democratic Senator Jim Dabakis co-sponsored the bill and while he says that he’s disappointed that it didn’t receive a vote in the Senate, he acknowledges that they’re moving in the right direction.

“The work continues one senator at a time, one vote at a time," Dabakis says. "I believe we are ultimately going to succeed.”

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser says one of the reasons they won’t bring it up for debate is because they already know there aren’t enough votes to get it passed.

“We could have a lot of debate on that but it’s the last day for Senate bills and I guess the question is: Why if we don’t have the votes do we want to spend a lot of time when we got some other bills we need to address today,” Niederhauser says.

Senator Stephen Urquhart says it’s now up to him to help better educate his fellow Senators and get their support.

“You know I’m hearing it from my colleagues, the say ‘We’re for equal rights, but we don’t..’ Well then end it right there. If we’re for equal rights then let’s vote for equal rights.”

He says he plans on bringing this bill back before the legislature next year.

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