Updated February 20th post HERE. Buttars removed as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman.
Utah's premier culture warrior has stirred up another political firestorm over his vigorous defense of traditional American cultural values once again. District 10 Senator Chris Buttars (R-West Jordan) is being witch-hunted because of some very frank criticism of the practice of homosexuality he voiced to a former KTVX Channel 4 reporter, who in turn may have taken many of his comments out of context and posted them on a YouTube video since taken down.
Utah media stories published by the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, KSL Channel 5, KTVX Channel 4 (HERE and HERE), and KVNU 610AM in Logan (HERE and HERE).
Additional local reaction from the City Weekly's Salt Blog (anti-Buttars) and the Salt Lake Crawler (humorously anti-Buttars),
The controversy revolves around an interview Buttars gave to former KTVX reporter and current documentary filmmaker Reed Cowan, in which he characterized the gay rights movement "probably the greatest threat to America". Buttars also asserted that the LGBT community doesn't merely seek equality, but actually want supremacy. Buttars went on to say, "It's the beginning of the end. Oh, it's worse than that. Sure. Sodom and Gomorrah was localized. This is worldwide". Buttars also took credit for killing every gay rights bill in the legislature during the past eight years.
Other statements attributed to Senator Buttars:
-- "Homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion. And you say that around here now and everybody goes nuts. But I don't care".
-- About gays: "They're mean. They want to talk about being nice. They're the meanest buggers I have ever seen".
-- Comparison to Islamofascists: “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."
In addition, KVNU reports that in the video, Buttars references an act called “pig sex". The Senator claims that “pig sex” is something that gays do. [Ed. Note: As much as I support Chris Buttars, I've got to wonder about this. Pig sex? WTF, over? The only "pig sex" I can think of is if you stay too long at the Port O'Call and end up going home with a leftover.]
KTVX has not been able to release a news video of the interview because Reed Cowan's documentary is copyrighted and has not aired yet. However, they were authorized to release excerpts. A YouTube video was briefly posted during the day on February 18th, but has since been taken down. KSTU Channel 13 video embedded below (this video actually has some audio excerpts of Buttars remarks, and also exposes an apparent disconnect between Buttars' expectations of content review versus the actual signed agreement):
And here's the YouTube video showing Buttars using the term "pig sex" to describe homosexuality:
On Wednesday February 18th, the firestorm began. Gay-rights activist Jacob Whipple, founder of the All For One Initiative, struck the match by calling for Buttars' resignation from the Utah Senate, urging supporters of the LGBT community to e-mail Buttars and Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville. "He basically labeled my community as virtually the devil incarnate," Whipple said. "I don't think that he represents Utah any more. … Saying something so hurtful has no place on the hill". [Ed. Note: Notice that Whipple doesn't challenge the veracity of Buttars' statements; he only wants them censored because he thinks they're "hurtful".]
Openly-gay State Senator Scott McCoy (D-Salt Lake) also isn't particularly forgiving. "An apology is not going to do it at this point. I'm not sure I'd find an apology sincere anyway". But McCoy said several GOP senators had made a point of apologizing for Buttars' comments. Openly-gay Rep. Christine Johnson (D-Salt Lake) also weighed in. "They're very hurtful statements," added Rep. Johnson. "I trust (Senate) President (Michael) Waddoups and the Senate leadership to address it." But other lawmakers expressed little concern or fear at the moment.
But Equality Utah reacted a bit more charitably. In their statement, they called upon the gay community not to lash out and take an "eye for an eye" approach. Equality Utah has been working to avoid replicating negative biases and stereotypes about gays.
Later on, Senator Buttars issued a statement of his own, which is also posted on the Senate Site blog:
Sometime in January, I talked with Reed Cowan for over an hour. I felt it was a friendly interview and we covered a lot of ground.
Reed assured me that he would treat both sides of the issue fairly and that I would be treated fairly. He told me the interview would be public in about a year and I would be allowed to see his work and approve my part before he released it.
I took Reed at his word and am disappointed.
I believe traditional marriage is the foundation of our civilization and I'll continue to support public policy that strengthens traditional marriage. I will also continue to oppose policy that undermines that foundation.
But Reed Cowan fired back with a rebuttal, saying that he sought out Senator Buttars because he has twice been an LDS bishop and has excommunicated gay Mormons, and also because of his pronounced stance against gay rights as a senator. Cowan also claims that Senator Buttars knew the full extent of the film's content and that it would have voices that would disagree vehemently with him before the cameras rolled.
The abuse directed toward Chris Buttars symbolizes the Orwellian reversal of values espoused by the elite which has taken place in America during the past 30 years. Thirty years ago, Buttars would have been lionized by the media and others. Now, after thirty years of neo-Marxist political correctness and the sexualization and putrefaction of our culture by MTV and the entertainment industry, black has become white, and darkness marketed as light. So the Jacob Whittles become the heroes, while the Chris Buttars have been transformed into the zeroes.
But Chris Buttars has the strength of character to withstand it. His spine was steeled after his confrontation last year with NAACP dominatrix Jeanetta Williams over the black baby remark. He'll survive this controversy.