Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Politics & Government


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Print

Utah Dems call for sanctions over anti-gay remarks

Utah Senate Democrats on Tuesday called for the ouster of a GOP lawmaker from two additional key committee posts because of his anti-gay comments.

Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY —

Utah Senate Democrats on Tuesday called for the ouster of a GOP lawmaker from two additional key committee posts because of his anti-gay comments.

In recent comments to a documentary filmmaker, state Sen. Chris Buttars compared gay activists to radical Muslims and said they are "probably the greatest threat to America going down." He also said gay people lack morals.

In response, Senate President Michael Waddoups last week removed Buttars from a judiciary committee that Buttars also chaired. Waddoups said Tuesday that Buttars' other assignments won't be changed.

Buttars frequently took pride in using his position on the committee to kill gay-rights bills.

Democrats - outnumbered by Republicans 21 to 8 in the Senate - called Tuesday for additional sanctions, including removal of Buttars from the rules committee, of which he is vice chairman. The rules committee is one of the most powerful in the Legislature because it decides which bills lawmakers will debate.

Democrats also requested that Buttars lose his chairmanship on the health and human services committee, although they didn't propose he be removed from that panel entirely.

"By removing Sen. Buttars from these key positions, President Waddoups, who has the sole responsibility to do so, would be sending a clear message to Utahns, Americans and humankind that we do not tolerate bad behavior in the Utah Senate," said Senate Minority Leader Pat Jones.

Waddoups has said Senate Republicans agree with many of the things Buttars told former local television reporter and documentary producer Reed Cowan. But Waddoups has repeatedly refused to say which comments he or other Republicans agree with.

Waddoups said removing Buttars from the judiciary post wasn't a punishment, but instead an effort to remove a distraction that had drawn unwanted attention to the Senate.

On Monday, the Senate stopped working for about two hours while Republicans met privately to discuss Buttars' comments. Not a single bill was debated on the Senate floor Monday morning, increasing the backlog of bills that may never become law simply because lawmakers will run out of time to approve them before the 45-day session ends.

Lawmakers' last day of business is set for March 12.

---

On the Net:

Utah Legislature: http://www.le.utah.gov/

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

More Politics headlines...

Print      Share:    Digg     Newsvine

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

advertising


Get home delivery today!

More Politics

Others states' fights bring focus to Daniels

NEW - 07:13 AM
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is writing memoir

Bill would make jail mug shots available

Immigration, license bill voted down in state Senate

Rival Texas bills require sonograms before abortions

Advertising

Video

Marketplace

Mechanic double-checks his air-bag worknew
Dear Tom and Ray: Last week, for one of my best customers, I replaced a very difficult steering rack. The ALLDATA instructions called for air-bag and ...
Post a comment

Most Popular Cars

Advertising