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Utah politician sacked from committee after homophobic comments

PinkNews Staff Writer February 20, 2009

A senior Utah Republican state Senator has been removed as chair of the Judiciary Committee after he claimed “radical gays” are the greatest threat to America.

Senator Chris Buttars made his anti-gay comments to a documentary filmmaker.

When he was removed by fellow Republicans today he said:

“I don’t have anything to apologise for.”

America’s largest LGBT advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, called on the Republican leadership to reprimand Senator Buttars.

“Words matter. As an elected official, Senator Buttars’ words set an example for the public,” the group said in a letter to Michael Waddoups, President of the Utah State Senate.

“It is irresponsible in the extreme for him to spread lies using abusive language — “they’re the meanest buggers I’ve ever seen” — that disparages people with whom he disagrees.

“These remarks are especially troubling in light of the growing danger of hate violence against LGBT Americans.

“As one of Utah’s leading public servants, you have a responsibility to the safety and well-being of your citizens. I strongly urge you to take punitive action against Senator Buttars’ mean-spirited rhetoric.”

The Senator compared gays to Muslim fundamentalists and claimed that they have no morals.

During an interview for the documentary, entitled 8: The Mormon Proposition, by ABC-4 reporter Reed Cowan, Senator Buttars said:

“Homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion. And you say that around here now and everybody goes nuts. But I don’t care.

“They’re mean. They want to talk about being nice. They’re the meanest buggers I have ever seen.

“It’s just like the Muslims. Muslims are good people and their religion is anti-war. But it’s been taken over by the radical side.

“What is the morals of a gay person? You can’t answer that because anything goes.”

The Senator went on to talk about what he termed the “radical gay movement,” saying: “they’re probably the greatest threat to America going down I know of.”

Senator Buttars has been the at the centre of controversy before due to his comments about homosexuals.

In 2006, he drew up a bill at the Utah senate to ban gay-straight alliance clubs at public high schools in the state.

At the time, he said the bill was necessary: “otherwise if you wanted to have a Texas Hold ‘Em club, poker, you could do that and they could say we’re not gambling, we’re just teaching them how the game works.”

“You could have the same thing with a Nazi club, or any other extreme club.”

He went on to claim that gay-straight alliance clubs were used by gays and lesbians to convert others to their sexuality.

“I’ve said all the way along to screen out, in a school of 2,000, kids that are confused or that might have a question and they can come to this and be indoctrinated.”

More: Americas

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