Logan Nondiscrimination, Political Assholes in Utah County, Utah Immigration Law 

Equality U-turn

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One week after delaying action until the fall on a nondiscrimination ordinance, the Logan City Council decided to hold a public hearing and possibly take action during its May 18 meeting. The change in direction came after council members, some of whom had suggested that discrimination didn’t exist in Logan, heard dozens of stories from the LGBT community about actual discrimination in jobs and housing. Councilwoman Holly Daines said in a letter to fellow council members that she still had concerns about the ordinance, but “the message we send by its passage outweighs my concerns.” Wait a minute ... did elected officials just listen to their constituents?

Happy Valley Holligans

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Vandals recently used grass killer to burn the word “asshole” into the lawn of Taylor Oldroyd, the Utah County Republican Party chairman, and started writing a different word on the lawn of steering committee member Richard Jaussi. Nobody has been arrested, but Jaussi told the Provo Daily Herald that because they are both party officials, the act was “not random.” Oldroyd, especially, has been a controversial county boss and was booed several times during the county convention. Although a one-party county, the Republicans in Happy Valley have always been rambunctious, but this goes beyond free speech and open debate. Instead, how about this for political activism: Wait a year and vote for a new chairman.

Immigration Procrastination

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Gov. Gary Herbert canceled a promised special session that was intended to make voluntary a law currently requiring employers to check the legal status of employees. But Utah legislators were crowing about using the session to pass a version of the Arizona immigration law that requires police officers to verify immigration status whenever there is “reasonable” suspicion that the person is in the United States illegally—i.e., being born with brown-skin. Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, also wanted to punish businesses that do not verify the legal status of their employees—currently, there is no actual penalty—with an outright prohibition on the company doing business in Utah after a second offense. The cancellation will not reduce the noise surrounding the immigration debate during an election year, but at least Utah will not yet become the second state to fly the “We Hate Mexicans” flag.

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