UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 24, 2009

UTAH GOP CLAIMS RIGHT TO PICK OWN ANTI-GAY SPOKESMAN

Salt Lake City Tribune - Senate leaders disciplined Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, not for anti-gay comments he made in a recent interview, but because he violated a deal with leadership that he not talk about gay issues, a senator said.

"Most of what Senator Buttars said, I agree with," Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, said in a weekly Red Meat Radio program he hosts on K-TALK. "We as a Senate caucus had an agreement that because Sen. Buttars had become such a lightning rod on this issue, he would not be the spokesman on this issue, and basically he violated that agreement."

Buttars was under fire for statements he made to a documentary filmmaker in which he compared homosexuals to radical Muslims, called them the greatest internal threat to America and said they had no morals.

Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, announced Friday that he was removing Buttars from two committees: the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee and the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee, both of which Buttars had chaired.

In making the announcement, Waddoups said he was trying to ensure the Senate runs smoothly, but also noted that "we agree with many of the things he said. . . We stand four-square behind his right [to say what he wants].". . .

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