Utah State Senator Chris Buttars has
announced his retirement from politics, the Salt Lake Tribune
Buttars made the announcement on
Thursday, immediately after the Legislature adjourned.
The 68-year-old Republican has suffered
from various health problems.
In 2009, the Senate leadership
reprimanded Buttars over anti-gay remarks he made in an interview
with filmmaker Reed Cowan for the documentary 8: The Mormon
In his interview, Buttars, a practicing
Mormon, called gays “mean” and likened 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
added, moments later. “Muslims are good people and their religion
is anti-war. But it's been taken over by the radical side.”
On the subject of gay marriage, Buttars
said the institution is the beginning of the end: “What are the
morals of a gay person? You can't answer that because anything
Buttars lost his Judiciary Committee
chair over the remarks.
Gayle Ruzicka, president of the Utah
Eagle Forum, Phyllis Schlafly's socially conservative group, praised
Buttars for his near decade of service in the chamber.
“He's one of the kindest people, but
he took on the hard issues and when you stand that strong for what
you believe in, he's a very righteous man, so he's a target.”
Referring to Utah's constitutional
amendment that banned gay marriage, Ruzicka said: “One of the most
incredible things he ever did is he and LaVar [Christensen] working
together doing Amendment 3. That is a legacy that will live