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Landmark LGBT Nondiscrimination Laws and Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy, 2015-2019

Landmark LGBT Nondiscrimination Laws and Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy, 2015-2019

Professor Wilson’s work on balanced measures that respect religious freedom on questions central to many belief systems, like marriage and sexuality, has proceeded both in statehouses and in the murkier world of administrative law. These range from providing better information to patients about which pharmacies stock emergency contraceptives to removing objecting clerks from being a choke point on the path to services. In 2015, Professor Wilson worked with the Utah Legislature at the invitation of then-Utah Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams to assist with the drafting, refining, and passage of two landmark pieces of legislation that protected the full LGBT community from discrimination in Utah’s employment and housing nondiscrimination laws, while providing robust accommodations for religious groups, their affiliates, and persons of faith (see, Utah S.B. 296, 2015). She received one of 16 signing pens at the signing of the bill. This included testimony before legislative bodies, assisting bill sponsors to field questions during floor debate, and caucusing with the Utah House and the Utah Senate, the first non-lawmaker to do so in the history of those bodies. In 2019, Professor Wilson was privileged to assist Utah Governor Gary Herbert and General Counsel Ron Gordon as they negotiated details of a regulatory ban on gay conversion therapy, which became law (see, Utah Administrative Code R156).

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She has urged new approaches to what many see as irreducible choices between respecting one community or another.

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