By Associated Press

Common Ground initiative includes protections in housing, employment, domestic partnerships

SALT LAKE CITY — Gay rights advocates are gearing up for efforts to persuade the state Legislature to pass a package of bills that would give basic civil rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Utahns.

A group gathered at a chapel on Capitol Hill Monday, Jan. 19 calling on lawmakers to support the Common Ground Initiative during their session, which starts next week.

Bountiful Community Church of Christ Rev. Russell Baker says the group of bills, pushed by advocacy group Equality Utah, is not part of a gay agenda but is rather about human rights.

State Senate President Michael Waddoups says he thinks lawmakers should look at the bills, which would address issues like fair housing and employment and domestic partnership rights.

Equality Utah Public Policy Manager Will Carlson says activists will use phone banks and video testimonials to lobby lawmakers.

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