In a development that's not exactly as unexpected as Richard Nixon visiting China in 1973, Equality Utah has endorsed Democrat Ralph Becker to be the next mayor of Salt Lake City. Main story HERE in the Deseret Morning News, with another related story HERE.
Other local endorsements by Equality Utah include the following:
Salt Lake City Council District 2 Michael Clara
Salt Lake City Council District 4 Nancy Saxton & Luke Garrott
Salt Lake City Council District 6 JT Martin
West Valley Council District 1 Adam Leffler
West Valley Council District 3 Clint Child
You'll note that BOTH finalists in District 4 have received this endorsement. That's one of the reasons why I was pushing Jack Gray's District 4 candidacy rather vigorously.
Equality Utah seems particularly enamored with Ralph Becker's Human Rights Initiative . Upon review, I can well understand their ardor for Mr. Becker. This guy appears just as radical about homosexual "rights" as Jenny Wilson was. Click the link above to read the full text; I'm merely presenting the highlights below:
A Comprehensive Set of Human Rights Ordinances and Policies
A truly great American city recognizes the fundamental importance of protecting and celebrating universal human rights. Accordingly, the Becker administration will build upon existing ordinances and policies in the following ways:
1. Transform the Office of Diversity into the Office of Human Rights. By acknowledging that a broader set of human rights belong to all residents of our City, Salt Lake City joins other international cities that elevate the protection of basic human rights for all residents and visitors as a fundamental municipal value.
2. Implement a comprehensive nondiscrimination municipal ordinance with an enumerated list of protected classes. This ordinance would cover housing and realty, employment, public accommodation, and city activities.
3. Require companies that contract with and/or sell goods and services to the City to implement a nondiscrimination policy with regard to race, color, familial status, veterans status, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
4. Champion a hate-crimes ordinance that would enhance penalties for crimes that are related to race, color, familial status, veterans status, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
5. Develop anti-bullying and equal access policies by working with the school district to include protection for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Domestic Partner Policies
6. Establish a city registry for domestic partnerships to streamline the process for businesses to offer benefits to domestic partners.
7. Require the extension of benefits equally to registered domestic partners by companies that contract with the City and already provide benefits to employees’ spouses.
8. Change the City’s retirement policy to allow an employee to name a domestic partner as a beneficiary.
Implementation and Compliance
9. Ensure the continued vitality of the Civilian Review Board.
10. Emphasize the importance of diversity training in every city department.
Wow. Nothing subtle about this, although there's actually two of these proposals I could support. Changing the name of the Office of Diversity to the Office of Human Rights is actually a positive idea; it symbolizes the idea that diversity should lead to a greater, more flexibility unity, and not be an end unto itself. And this has happened with the still-predominantly white population of America; once riven by ethnic rivalries, they have been, through ethnic intermarriage and common American experiences, subsumed into a common white racial identity. The other worthy proposal is to strengthen anti-bullying policies in local schools; no kid should ever have to constantly look over his shoulder while at school.
However, Becker's openly-expressed intent to create "protected classes" not only flies in the face of that first step, but actually reveals his true agenda. And his true agenda is the official promotion and protection of the homosexual lifestyle, to be enforced through Soviet-style diversity training at all levels as well as a draconian hate crimes code. And to create an enumerated list of protected classes?This will be divisive. How do you think people who fit into none of these protected classes will feel? They'll feel like outcasts, or pariahs. This idea of creating an enumerated list of protected classes is positively Orwellian.
Hate crimes laws are not necessary. Most crimes are already statutorily defined by degree, depending upon severity and intent. For example, there's first-degree vs. second-degree assault and battery. "First degree" implies pre-planning and malice aforethought. Why not simply consider "hate", under certain circumstances, to be a first-degree qualifier? In addition, who defines hate? For that matter, who defines love? Who defines envy? Who defines sadness? Who can we really trust to attach statutory definitions to emotions? I'm not willing to confer that trust upon anyone, not even LDS President Gordon W. Hinckley.
Requiring companies who do business with the city to abide by his proposed nondiscrimination clause incurs the risk of reducing the number of companies who could compete for municipal bids. This could raise the price of contractual goods and services to the city. Is it worth it? In addition, large corporations would be better equipped to meet these demands than small businesses, so this would be implicitly discriminatory against small business. We seem to forget that today's mighty corporations, like Microsoft, were once small businesses.
And of course, recognizing so-called "civil unions" between homosexuals and mandating extension of spousal benefits to the domestic partners of gay public employees constitutes the implicit public subsidization of the homosexual lifestyle. Requiring this of private companies who do business with the city consitutes intolerable interference in free enterprise. If I was a business owner, I would simply refuse to do business with Salt Lake City in order to avoid this requirement. Others, particularly on the Christian Right, are likely to follow suit.
And why does Becker want to transform Salt Lake City into an "international" city? Did he ask voters for permission to do this? What's wrong with keeping Salt Lake an American, and most importantly, a Utahn city? If he transforms Salt Lake into an "international" city, he will lessen its unique distinction and make it no different than other international cities. Becker claims to celebrate "diversity". Where's your "diversity" when everything is equally "diverse"?
This Human Rights Initiative, for the most part, is one of the most totalitarian and Orwellian documents I've ever seen. It actually nauseates me to read it. While Ralph Becker obviously possesses the technical qualifications to be mayor of Salt Lake, his Human Rights Initiative places him ideologically closer to Joe Stalin than to George Washington. Somebody who thinks like this has no business being the mayor of an American city, or, for that matter, serving in any American elective office.
Dave Buhler may not be the ideal Republican. In Riverton and South Jordan, they would call him a Democrat. But at least he won't transform Salt Lake into a Soviet republic. Dave Buhler is the only sane choice for Salt Lakers on November 6th.