Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bizarro: Up is down; dogs are cats; Buttars supports gay rights

Posted By on November 19, 2009, 5:26 AM

Salt Lake City anti-discrimination ordinance -- and particularly the LDS Church's endorsement of it -- seems to have flung the anti-gays into some new, weird Bizarro World.

In Bizarro Utah, things am very different, as it were, from world we live on: State Sen. Chris Buttars may sponsor state-wide legislation protecting LGBT Utahns from housing and job discrimination. As Buttars was quoted in Rod Decker's 2News report: ---

Did the church's announcement have an effect on me? Yes. ... An individual should be able to have a roof over their [sic] head and have a job and not worry about being fired for their 'sexual choices' [sic].

Yes, folks, that's Chris Buttars -- saying that LGBT folks should not have to fear the loss of their jobs or their homes simply because of their ... er, "sexual choices." (The term is "sexual orientations," Chris, but we'll work on grammar and terminology later.)

Still, Buttars seems particularly concerned about something called "creep" -- that is, the fear that basic civil protections will prime that slip-slip-slippity slope and propel Utah toward -- gasp! -- gay marriage, which is the argument Buttars and other religious conservatives have been using for years against basic civil protections.

I have to say, if Buttars really were following the word of his religious leaders on this issue, unlike some others, it would say a lot for him. It would mean he really does base his actions on his faith, and not on his own biases, which shows a kind of personal integrity. (I'm still unsure that allowing the dicta of one's beliefs to be based upon the pronouncements of organizational leaders can be interpreted as a sign of spiritual integrity, but that's beyond the scope of politics.)

Basically, it looks like the plan is to float a bill in the new Bizarro Legislature that would provide job and housing protections for gays -- but, at the same time, to make it illegal for any Utah municipality to adopt any other anti-discrimination ordinances.

It looks a lot like damage control. The Lege will say, "OK, only this far, but no farther!"

Still, how sweet would it be to see the 2010 Utah Legislature enact laws that actually benefit gays and lesbians throughout the state? It would have been unthinkable a decade ago. And it could end up being a genuine, bona fide, Martha-Stewart-grade Good Thing.

So, all you grumpy naysayers: Count your blessings in this new Bizarro World of ours!

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