On the same day the Utah Legislature
voted down the last of five gay rights bills,
Salt Lake City-based KTVX, an ABC affiliate, aired audio clips
of Utah Senator Chris Buttars calling the gay rights movement
“probably the greatest threat to America.”
The senator's comments added insult to
injury as Utah gay rights activists mourned the legislative loss of
five groundbreaking gay rights bills called the Common Ground
Initiative, the last of which was rejected on Wednesday.
The Republican senator made his strong
statements in an interview conducted with filmmaker Reed Cowan for an
upcoming documentary titled 8: The Mormon Proposition.
The ABC affiliate received permission
to air several audio clips from the documentary.
In his interview, Buttars, a practicing
Mormon, calls gays “mean” and likens them to terrorists.
“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,” he
adds, moments later. “Muslims are good people and their religion
is anti-war. But it's been taken over by the radical side.”
Buttars' views on gays parallel those
of Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern. Last year, the preacher's
wife turned politician created a firestorm of protest when she said
the gay community is “the death knell in the country” and “the
biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or
Islam.” Despite the protests, the Republican managed to win
re-election on Nov. 4.
On the subject of gay marriage, Buttars
says the institution is the beginning of the end: “What are the
morals of a gay person? You can't answer that because anything
Gay rights activist Jacob Whipple,
founder of the All For One Initiative, called for the resignation of
the senator on Wednesday.
“He basically labeled my community as
virtually the devil incarnate,” Whipple told the Salt Lake
Tribune. “I don't think that he represents Utah any more. ...
Saying something so hurtful has no place on the hill.”
The ABC affiliate also reports that
Buttars goes further – much further – discussing a certain type
of gay sexual activity the details of which the broadcaster says
would be inappropriate for it to air.