SLC – With the controversial “compromise” between the pro-human rights legislators and the extremist right-wing hanging in the balance, a closed-door meeting between leading Republican Senators ended with a slap in the face to Utah’s LGBT community.
Last week, Representative Christine Johnson and Senator Stephenson announced a joint bill saying that no pro or anti gay legislation would be run this year by either side, and a committee would be assigned to study the necessity of anti-discrimination laws over the coming year. Call it an olive branch to Utah’s ultra-conservative lawmakers, a way for them to finally recognize the suffering of their constituents while still saving face by claiming that they were unaware of the problems in Utah before the committee delivered their report.
But now, Republicans have denied even that. In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Senate President Michael Waddoups announced that they would hold up their end of no anti gay legislation this session, but that he saw no need for a committee to look into anything this upcoming year. On top of that, he threatened the gay community against speaking up, saying any “offensive activities” would push the Republicans into drafting legislation against the LGBT community.
Um… excuse me?? The queer community in Utah is one of the most oppressed in the country, being one of the few states that does not even afford housing or workplace protections to its’ citizens. There’s barely a handful of supportive legislators on Capital Hill supporting their basic rights and he wants the gay community to shut up and fall in line? Their strategy is clear, Republicans are in essence buying themselves a free-pass for the year from the constant barrage of negative press for their dark-age views, while giving nothing in return.
Now, the LGBT community of Utah is rising and coming together again. Enough. We have had it with our state constantly spitting on us, of teaching our children that they have no human worth just because they’re born differently. We are thrown from our parents’ homes, shunned from our churches and communities, fired from our jobs, evicted from our homes, denied every possible right to our partners and now are told our suffering isn’t even worth taking a deeper look at.
Enough. We’re sick of being the whipping-boy for those law makers who care nothing that thousands of their constituents are being persecuted. Sit Down, Shut Up and Fall In Line? Never.