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Hits & Misses | Gay-Marriage Ban, Smokin' Greg Curtis & Liquor-Law Reform

By Ted McDonough
Posted // February 3,2009 -


Legislative Liars
nIt was only a few years ago that conservatives pressing to mar Utah’s Constitution with a gay-marriage ban promised they weren’t going to take legal protections from homosexuals. Nowadays, it’s crystal clear that the 2004 line was a lie. Gay activists are presenting this year’s Utah Legislature with a list of bills to give elementary legal protections to gays well short of marriage. The first such bill—a proposal to allow unmarried, unrelated people to sue in the case of a partner’s accidental death—couldn’t even get out of Senate committee. Predictably, opponents said the bill would damage “traditional marriages.”



Revolving Door
nAs Utah lawmakers debate an ethics proposal to stop retired lawmakers from becoming lobbyists for a one-year cooling-off period, they’ll have familiar faces to advise them. Greg Curtis, last year’s House Speaker who lost his bid for re-election, appeared on Capitol Hill as a newly minted lobbyist for, among other clients, cigarette maker Philip Morris USA, which is trying to beat back a tobacco-tax hike. Joining Curtis in the Gucci-lined hallways is former legislator and newly registered lobbyist Mark Walker. He’s currently on probation in connection with a plea deal stemming from a House Ethics Committee probe this fall.



src=/data/449BBE6E-021E-D69E-7A3370304BA7D31B/userData/Image/_Art_Every_Week/SAD.jpgDumb to Dumber
nGiven the opportunity for true liquor-law reform, Utah’s Legislature once again seems bent on making Utah’s drinking laws more ridiculous than ever. In exchange for getting rid of hated “private clubs,” club owners offered to install ID-card readers in bars. They thought that would satisfy concerns that no-membership bars meant no minors getting served. All such card readers do is scan a bar code and tell the doorman if the holder is over 21. But leaders of Utah’s Senate are proposing a system to download bar patrons’ information into a law-enforcement computer. Having to put their names on a list is precisely what frightens tourists about Utah’s current law. Why it would be any better to hand your personal identity information to a government database boggles the mind. tttt

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Posted // February 5,2009 at 02:44 So, you mean to tell me when I go to The Westerner during the week between the hours of 6pm and 9pm for a line dancing class my name is going to go into a database which anyone can pull to steroetype me? I’ll have you know that now that The Westerner is smokeless I can take my 5 month pregnant body in there without any worries - AND I DON’T DRINK (in my current condition, of course). Most of the fine ladies and gentlemen who go aren’t drinking, we just go to socialize and have a good time. This sounds like a very bad idea to me. What if the police have access to this list and I get pulled over for a speeding ticket and the cop thinks I’m a drunk because I go to a bar every week?


Posted // February 4,2009 at 20:30 EAAAAASSSYY Buddy! Take it Easy! I beg you.nnFirst of all, don’t give on this first go around. It took more than one try before the state hate crimes law finally got passed and signed. nnSecond, there are many LDS people who are actually on the gay and lesbians side here, and I’m one of the them. I’ve written to my representatives in the state legislature, asking that they look carefully at each bill and vote YES if for any other reason, then to offer an olive branch to the the gay and lesbian community.nnI know emotions are strong, but PLEASE! We still must stay civil.


Posted // February 4,2009 at 15:32 The ONLY common ground gays and lesbians have in Utah, is the freeway OUT of this backward third rate HATE state.nYou don’t deserve your LGBT citizens, and when they leave, their young straight friends will leave too, taking with them the creativity that determines whether a city/state thrives or fails.nnbtw. Monson when LGBTs leave Utah, you EVER attack our Constitutional Rights in ANY other state, it won’t be non violent BOYCOTT you’ll stir up, we’ll BASH BACK with anything at hand......ANYTHING!nngot that......GOOD!