New online video exposes hateful comments
WASHINGTON – On Feb. 20 the Human Rights Campaign issued a national action alert demanding Utah Senate President Michael G. Waddoups condemn remarks made recently by Sen. Chris Buttars. In the documentary interview, Sen. Buttars calls the gay-rights movement “probably the greatest threat to America.” Buttars also said “homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion,” adding that same-sex relationships are “abominations.” Senate President Michael G. Waddoups has released a statement defending Buttars’ statements, saying that they did not violate any Senate rules. To take action and contact the President of the Utah Senate, visit: http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/buttars.
“Sen. Buttars has a history of opposition to the equality of all people, both in his hateful speech and his voting record as a state legislator. We demand that Senate President Waddoups take swift action and condemn it,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “This level of attack on a group of Americans from a sitting state senator responsible for public policy is unacceptable.”
Last year, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called for Sen. Buttars resignation after he described a complex school-funding bill by saying, “This baby is black …It’s a dark, ugly thing.” (Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 19, 2008)
Sen. Buttars latest remarks were recorded in a Jan. 30 interview with documentary filmmaker Reed Cowan. According to Cowan, Sen. Buttars signed a contract before the interview and understood the documentary would cover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. With permission from the filmmaker, Human Rights Campaign created a video of the senator’s comments.
The senator played a key role in defeating a package of bills called the Common Ground Initiative, a set of measures aimed at advancing equal rights for LGBT people in Utah. In the wake of last November’s successful vote on Proposition 8, a measure seeking to amend the California Constitution to eliminate marriage for gay and lesbian couples, that received substantial financial support from the LDS Church and its membership in Utah, Equality Utah and pro-equality state legislators proposed the initiative. The final bill in the Common Ground Initiative failed to move forward last Wednesday. Sen. Buttars was recorded in the interview as saying, “It lost 4-2, and I killed it. I’ve killed every one they’ve brought for eight years.”