Posts Tagged ‘latter’

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.


LDS Church Speaks Out About Buttars

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints released a statement today regarding Senator Chris Buttars’ statements on homosexuality made earlier this year.

temp“From the outset, the Church’s position has always been to engage in civil and respectful dialogue on this issue. Senator Buttars does not speak for the Church.” This came from the Church’s spokesperson, Scott Trotter.

It has been intensely interesting to watch as the strict conservatives, both groups, legislators and individuals have run for cover after Buttars made these statements. They do not say they disagree with him, just in the manner in which he said it.

Why is it, that the Senator’s now infamous “black baby” comments, made almost exactly one year ago warranted an official apology from the Senator himself, and an uproar in the Senate? Well obviously because the words chosen were wrong, insulting, and bigoted (even if unintentionally, which I don’t believe however). But now, Buttars takes even further leaps into hate-speak, claiming homosexuality is the “biggest threat” to America, that all gays do is have pig sex and they’re similar to radical Muslims; and yet what happens? Sure, the Senator is removed from the judicial committee (again), but where is the apology?

I do not expect Buttars, Sen. Waddoups or any of the other staunchbut Republicans on the hill to actually denounce these hateful words, hell, we all know they probably agree with every iota of them. But where is the plain old common decency to say, “you know what, these comments were deliberately insulting, spiteful, and hateful, and we are truly sorry to our fellow Utahns that they were treated so shamefully?” Why does the Senate President Michael Waddoups duck the question when he’s asked to make a statement to the LGBTQ community?

This single thing, I find more telling of Utah’s legislature than anything they have done to this point. We all knew that they believed in and still support Amendment 3, we all knew that so few would actually be in favor of the Common Ground Initiative bills. We know, we get it, they are not in favor of gay-rights or equality among citizens. But… we have now been shown that they also don’t care about us as people and that they place no values in our worth as human beings, and will only ever go so far as to cover their own asses. Sorry for the crassness, but that’s how it is.

Prominent Mormons Were Reimbursed For Prop 8

In what seems to be an endless line of embarrassments for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it is now coming to light that several prominent Mormon figures were actually reimbursed for their efforts and participation on the Yes On 8 campaign.

Below is a list of several of them, brought to my attention by my good friend Reed Cowen (many thanks to him for this). The full list can be seen here (if unable to be viewed, too many people are looking at it at once) and I highly recommend that everyone views the list to see who they recognize.

Lawrence Research (Gary Lawrence, Mormon pollster and Meridian contributor): $528,877.35

Eagle Foundation (a Mormon PAC set up by Bart Marcois and David Parker): $135,912.76

Glen Greener (former Salt Lake City Police Commissioner, Meridian contributor, and now a GOP operative and sometime Cali property developer): $50,236.42

Sonja Brown ( communications director): $41,844.00

Zion Multimedia Corp.: $2,000.00

Rob Wirthlin: $768.18

So what does this all mean for the LDS church? Well it’s still unclear, and the list of those who were reimbursed may be getting longer as more is unearthed. But until then, you can count on more and more outcries against this “loving and tolerant” religion.