Friday, February 20, 2009

Comments about gays cost Sen. Buttars his chairmanship

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - KSL reported that State Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, has been removed from a Senate committee because of anti-gay comments he made that became public this week. Senate President Michael Waddoups says he decided to take the action because of public pressure, but at the same time he affirmed Buttars' free speech rights.

Buttars isn't backing down, even as Senate GOP leaders announced his punishment. In a statement posted online, Buttars says he disagrees with the censure, but he's a "grown man who can take his knocks." Senate President Michael Waddoups took him off of the senate judiciary committee.

Even in the face of what amounts to a demotion, Sen. Buttars is not apologizing and his supporters don't think he has anything to apologize for. At the same time, his critics are angry. They want more severe action against Buttars, even for him to quit the Senate.

Buttars was kicked off the judicial committee he chaired after comparing gay activists to radical Muslims during an interview for a documentary. Buttars also told filmmaker Reed Cowan that gay activists are "probably the greatest threat to America going down."

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