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Utah Companies Lag When it Comes to LGBT Anti-Discrimination

All but a handful of the nation's Fortune 500 companies now voluntarily include protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. That makes most major companies more inclusive than Utah. Here in the Beehive State a person can still lose his/her job for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.

When the Equality Forum first started polling the Fortune 500 in 2004, about 2/3 had anti-discrimination policies that included sexual orientation and gender identity. Today, that number has grown to 95%.

Equality Forum Executive Director Malcolm Lazin says that it's one sign of changing times:

"I think what is obviously encouraging is that in the last 2 years we have seen sexual orientation and gender identity included in the federal hate crime bill."

The only Utah-based company in the Fortune 500, Hunstman International, includes sexual orientation protection as part of its human resources policy.

Lazin says in the past week 2 more companies have added language to their rules protecting LGBT workers from discrimination, bringing the total to 479.

At 14-years-old, Kerry began working as a reporter for KVEL “The Hot One” in Vernal, Utah. Her radio news interests led her to Logan where she became news director for KBLQ while attending Utah State University. She graduated USU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and spent the next few years working for Utah Public Radio. Leaving UPR in 1993 she spent the next 14 years as the full time mother of four boys before returning in 2007. Kerry and her husband Boyd reside in Nibley.