Sen. Poulton’s Unnatural Act 

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Tonight I’m going to double-check my family to make sure they’re “natural.” I’ll go into Pete’s room and count his toes, making sure he has five on each foot, not six or seven. Eleni is pretty darned fast afoot, so I’ll see if she’s powered by an Eveready battery, or, like other “natural” kids, by a heart and respiratory system. Little Mikey’s been saying some peculiar things lately, like “Oh my God!” when he opened his Christmas presents. Could be that he has some sort of radio receiver in his head, as invoking the Lord’s name seems a bit unnatural for a 3-year-old.

As for my wife, Paula, she seems “natural” enough for a post-Oprah female of the species. She does have that secret hiding place in the closet, though. I wonder what’s in it? Oh, smite that thought!

If I appear nervous, I am. I’ve been married 13 years but didn’t even know that what I’ve been creating is unnatural. Thanks to a Republican state senator and his local Mormon stake president, however, the great state of Utah may pass legislation that will at last define what a “natural family” is. Why we need such a bill is anyone’s guess, but this is Utah and in Utah things like this happen when religion and politics marry in an “unnatural” wedlock.

Sen. L. Steven Poulton of Holladay is sponsoring the “Definition of Natural Family” bill. He says he was prompted to do so by his former stake president, Alonzo A. Hinckley, a cousin to LDS church President Gordon B. Hinckley. Thus far, his bill is just a title and a blank page, so good luck trying to read it. But that’s another Utah trick. Our Legislature routinely keeps the public ill-informed until the last possible minute, then wham, bam, thank you ma’am, numerous sensitive or controversial bills are quickly passed in the final minutes of the legislative session.

Among the tenets speculated to make it into Poulton’s final draft are that the natural family’s purpose is to “continue the human species [duh], rear children [are there points for trying?], regulate sexuality [what?!], provide mutual support and protection [for whom?], and create an altruistic domestic economy [huh?] and the maintenance of bonds between the generations [the Ted Bundy’s mother’s clause].” If my Greek Orthodox priest or bishop—or even my cousin the monk—came to me with such a suggested piece of legislation, I’d tell him to stick it. Then I’d go back to counting fingers and toes.—John Saltas

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