Senator Chris Buttars Supports Gay Rights

Sen. Chris Buttars

Apparently the LDS / Mormon Church supporting the Salt Lake City ordinances last week, banning discrimination against the LGBT (gay) community in matters of housing and employement, is the equivalent of a 500 lb loaf of pumpkin bread. Huh… maybe all I had to do was bake more?

In an unexpected announcement today, Utah State Senator Chris Buttars (R – West Jordan) announced that due to the LDS or Mormon Church’s statements this past week, he now supports fair workplace and housing laws for the LGBT community on a state level. “I agree with what the Church said,” Buttars told KUTV news, “that an individual should be able to have a roof over their head and have a job, and not worry about being fired..”

Buttars is of course known state-wide for his fierce opposition to anything that resembles gay rights, including his critical role in working to ban Gay-Straight Alliances in Utah schools. His fame reached national media attention this past year with his now infamous comments to director Reed Cowan for an interview in Cowans’ upcoming film Mormon Proposition, in which Buttars declares gay people to be “the biggest threat to America going down..”

Back in January of this year, I had a chance to speak with Senator Buttars at his home in a community-outreach effort with PRIDE In Your Community. During what has been called the “Pumpkin Bread Talks” Chris Buttars made it very clear that although he claimed to be sympathetic, he was in no way favoring supporting any rights for one of Utah’s minorities, including workplace and housing protections.

So why the sudden change of heart? Our illustrious Senator claims that it was the Mormon Church’s public statements, however inside sources have shed some light on some closed-door statements made by LDS Church officials, including the phrase “we’ve got him [Buttars] under control.”

KUTV’s interview with the Sentator concluded as you would expect, give-a-little, take-a-lot. While with the support of Chris Buttars, fair workplace and housing laws may very well pass the legislature this year, however he will also be pushing to make it illegal for any other city in Utah to pass anti-discrimination laws, everything else will be required to go through at a state level.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Does this qualify as “under control”?

    Utah Senator Chris Buttars Supports the LDS Position, but Doesn’t Want The Gays Stuffing It Down His Throat All The Time (his words, at the 1:15 mark in this clip):

    Sutherland Institute: Mormon support for fair housing and employment = “giving a mouse a cookie”:

    And from that KUTV clip you linked to, Gayle Ruzicka says the Mormon church is wrong to oppose discrimination against LGBT Utahns:

    If Chris, Gayle and Sutherland keep this up, are those of us following along from outside Utah gonna need to stock up on more popcorn?


  2. Haha, saw the blog title in my RSS reader and my mouth fell open and didn’t start to close till near the end of the article.

    They can outlaw city-level anti-discrimination laws?!


    • Posted by ethingtoneric on November 19, 2009 at 11:55 am

      Yes, although incredibly rare for the state to impose on the dealings of a local city council’s ordinances, it can be done unfortunately. Meaning that although these soon-to-be bills will provide housing and employment protections to the LGBT community on a state level, it will most likely include a provision that bans anything other human rights being granted on any level except statewide.


  3. Posted by Dominique on November 19, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Explain to me again how our illustrious Republican party of Utah is all up in arms at how the National Congress needs to leave states’ rights alone and leave the decisions up to individual states… and in the next breath want to pass legislations imposing that same abhorrent control over counties and cities?

    I can describe them in one word: HYPOCRISY


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