Friday, November 20, 2009

No one's stuffing gay rights down Utah's throat

Utah State Sen. Chris Buttars -- a Republican, of course -- claims to support gay rights. He may even support gay rights legislation. But the struggle for gay rights in Utah is still at an early stage. Forget same-sex marriage or adoption, or anything that like that. Utah is not nearly that progressive. Indeed, where the Mormons rule, in one of the most conservative states in the union, the fight is for even more basic rights. What gay rights means is that gays and lesbians wouldn't be subjected to state-sanctioned bigotry with respect, for example, to housing and employment. (Even the Mormon Church, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, has come out in support of this, backing an anti-discrimination measure in Salt lake City.) All else will have to wait, if it ever comes at all.

Indeed, while he may support basic gay rights, Buttars is full to the brim of bigotry himself -- yes, very much like the LDS. As Think Progress notes, Buttars "has said that gay men and women are 'the greatest threat to America going down.' 'I believe they will destroy the foundation of the American society,' he said in February. 'In my mind, it's the beginning of the end... Sodom and Gomorrah was localized. This is worldwide.'" Charming.

Butters and the LDS, and presumably most Utahans, support basic gay rights but nothing else, and Buttars was clear about this recently, in one of the most inadvertantly funny comments by a politician in a long time (watch it below):

I meet with the gays here and there. They were in my house two weeks ago. I don't mind gays. But I don't want 'em stuffing it down my throat all the time. Certainly not in my kid's face.

Aside from the obvious moralist condescension, I'm not sure that's exactly the best way to put it. One can only presume that he doesn't mind it some of the time, even as he worries about "America going down."

I suppose one ought to applaud his, and others', efforts to promote at least some level of gay rights in Utah. Still, as long as their unswerving bigotry keeps them from recognizing gays and lesbians as equal members of society -- indeed, as equal human beings -- it's hard to imagine genuine change coming to this regressive state anytime soon.

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  • Mr. Buttars, Dr. Freud returned your call.

    By Blogger Mustang Bobby, at 10:33 PM  

  • They've only recently swallowed a bit of their arrogance and admitted that non-whites are fully human. It's hard to expect two big gulps like that in the same century.

    But as I remember the sin of Sodom was that they were not hospitable to strangers -- not that they liked it in the Buttars, so to speak.

    Sorry for that groaner, but when one's name is Buttars, one should be circumspect about talk of sodomy, n'est ce pas?

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:16 AM  

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