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In Lawmakers We Trust 

Control Freaks, Rainbow on Y Mountain

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In Lawmakers We Trust
If you read The Salt Lake Tribune's Sunday editorial, you'll understand why Utah remains grounded in a withering past. It has to do with secrecy and entitlement. Legislators subscribe to the playbook that says you—the huddled masses—are smart enough to have elected them to office but too stupid to know what you want or need—or how to get it. This is why they are shutting you out. They have just approved the Colorado River Authority because "it's our water," whines Sen. Don Ipson, R-St. George. But you shouldn't worry your little head about what the authority is really up to—just like you shouldn't worry about water conservation, that "fake" climate change, or whether any insider will be getting paid off under the table. Just trust them. And remember, that coal in your stocking this year is from Utah.

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Control Freaks
Voters being too dumb was kind of a theme in this year's Legislature. Lawmakers made it harder to get an initiative on the ballot and easier to keep the GOP insider-game locked. Heck, they don't even want the governor to exercise emergency powers. They're just way pissed that citizens passed medical marijuana, a redistricting commission and Medicaid expansion—oh, and then there's the governor's mask mandate. But they showed their true colors when they killed a bill to give 16- and 17-year-old students a vote in local school board elections. It's because they're not ready for the "heavy lift" of voting, Rep. Steve Christiansen, R-West Jordan, told The Salt Lake Tribune. He points to 70 percent of adults passing the citizenship test. Maybe that's a reason to require real civics education for adults and to allow students to get started on their civic duty now.

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Rainbow on Y Mountain
There's a tiny glimmer of hope for equality, and it came in the form on a rainbow-lighted "Y" at BYU. Of course, the school quickly denounced it as unapproved. And yet, the governor halted moves to ban transgender girls from women's sports and another to restrict young people from gender-affirming health care, KUER 90.1 FM reported. These are small steps in an otherwise homophobic state where a county councilman claimed the "left" wants everyone to be bisexual and promiscuous. Our beloved U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, in trying to cloak his anti-LGBTQ bias, is proposing a "First Amendment" bill to exempt religious organizations from same-sex adoptions, CNN reports. "What an individual or organization believes about the traditional definition of marriage is not—and should never be—a part of the government's decision-making process when distributing licenses, accreditations or grants," Lee said in a statement. Did he even hear what he said?

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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