Tuesday, February 24, 2009

GOP Ostracizes Senator for Truthful Comments about Homosexuality

[Utah Sen. Chris] Buttars has been under fire for a week, after he told a documentary filmmaker that gays pose the greatest internal threat to the country, lack morals, are demanding special rights and engage in disgusting sexual practices.

-- From "Senate Republicans meet and air their frustrations with their colleague" by Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune 2/23/09

The fallout from the anti-gay comments of Sen. Chris Buttars continues as Senate Republicans met behind closed doors for more than two hours Monday to air their concerns and views about the remarks.

Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, said on a radio show he hosts Saturday that Buttars was not reprimanded for the content of his comments, but for violating an agreement with Senate leaders not to speak publicly on gay issues because he had become a "lightning rod" on those issues.

[Republican] Senate leaders had hoped to put the issue behind them last week, after Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, stripped Buttars of his chairmanship and membership on two committees -- the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Judicial Confirmation Committee.

Senate Minority Leader Pat Jones, D-Holladay, said her party still has concerns about how the issue was handled and would like to see further action taken. The Democrats have called a news conference for Tuesday morning.

They are expected to call for Buttars to be removed from the Senate Rules Committee, which has immense power in deciding which bills progress through the Senate.

Buttars, who has said he disagreed with the decision to punish him for his comments and refused to apologize, sat through the meeting, in which members of the fractured caucus expressed their concerns.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.