We left Utah State Sen. Chris Buttars foaming at the mouth over teh evil gays a few days ago. He seemed on top of the world, free to let his homophobia range wide and free with such statements as “To me, homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion. And you say that around here now and everybody goes nuts! But I don’t care.” Oh, and don’t forget, “It’s the beginning of the end. Oh, it’s worse than that. Sure. Sodom and Gomorrah was localized. This is worldwide.”
You may have thought that Sen. Buttars needed a nice, long lie-down in a soft, quiet room, preferably with a few good doses of anti-psychotics on board. But, like me, you might not have expected much to come of it – we’re talking Utah, home of the Mormon Church and the Prop 8 crusade. However, it seems Buttars’s anti-gay rhetoric was just a little too hot for even Utah Cons to handle:
Today, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Buttars’ Republican colleagues have decided to kick him out of the state senate judiciary committee:
Sources familiar with the Senate discussions, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Senate Republican caucus decided to remove Buttars from the Senate Judiciary Committee, a panel which he currently chairs.
It is unclear how that move would affect his position on another panel, the Judicial Confirmation Committee, which he also chairs and is a member of by virtue of his position on the Judiciary Committee.
In the press conference, Waddoups continued to defend Buttars. “I want the citizens of Utah to know that the Senate stands behind Sen. Buttars and his right to speak, that we stand behind him as colleague and support his right to serve in this state,” Waddoups said. Meanwhile, Buttars refused to apologize for his comments, in a senate blog post:
When it comes right down to it, I would rather be censured for doing what I think is right, than be honored by my colleagues for bowing to the pressure of a special interest group that has been allowed to act with impunity.
The outrage prompted a frank, closed-door discussion among Senate Republicans on Thursday, and Senate President Michael Waddoups said he decided to boot Buttars off of two committees — the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee and the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee — both of which Buttars leads.
Before you congratulate the Utah GOP on showing some sense, consider Waddoups’s words:
Waddoups refused repeatedly to clarify which of Buttars’ opinions are shared by himself or Senate leaders.
He said the decision to remove Buttars from the committees was ultimately his own as president, a move he made so the Senate could function smoothly. The judiciary committee, in recent years, has heard most of the bills dealing with gay and lesbian rights, and removing Buttars from his position would remove the “personalities” and focus on the issues, Waddoups said.
However, the Legislature has defeated all of the so-called Common Ground initiatives, which sought to extend some rights to same-sex couples, including one that Buttars helped defeat in the judiciary committee.
“It frees Senator Buttars to feel more at ease in saying how he personally feels without feeling as if he’s personally speaking on behalf of his committee and the Legislature,” Waddoups said.
That’s right. Not a single word condemning rabid homophobic spew. Instead, Waddroups wants Buttars “to feel more at ease in saying how he personally feels.”
For. Fuck’s. Sake.
In other homophobic fuckwit news, Sarah “But I Have a Gay Friend!” Palin is terrified of children’s literature when it contains teh gay:
In a new biography of Palin released this week, Trailblazer: An Intimate Biography of Sarah Palin, her former campaign manager details Palin’s disgust at the idea of a gay-friendly book. During her 1996 mayoral campaign, Palin questioned the local library director about the “content and selection” of the library’s books. [p. 76]
One book that Palin questioned as not being “appropriate for the public library” was Daddy’s Roommate, a story about a young boy whose father is gay and moves in with his partner. Palin’s campaign manager at the time, Laura Chase, urged Palin to read the book before passing judgment:
I found it to be a sensitve book about showing love for additional family members. I took the book to show the other council members and said I felt it was inoffensive and suggested for everyone to read it, but there were not takers. I said, ‘Sarah why don’t you take it home and read it.’ I could tell by her body language she cringed at the idea.I was shocked. It blew my mind that she wouldn’t look at it. [p. 77]
Palin said the the book should be kept behind the library reference desk, telling Chase that “it shouldn’t be in a place where kids can get it without their parents knowing.” [p. 77]
Because the Lord knows if kiddies get hold of contraband like that, they might figure out that gays are *gasp* ordinary folks, and the right wing won’t have the club of homophobia to bludgeon people into compliance with anymore. Next thing you know, buh-bye Republicon party – because without the culture wars, they ain’t got nothing.
It’s just funny that Sarah Palin’s shit-scared of a children’s book herself. Whatsamatter, Sarah – worried your opinions might change? Or are you scared you’ll catch teh gay?
Betting’s open on how long it’ll take before some frothing fuckwit on the far right wing floats a Palin-Buttars ticket.