Tag Archives: public education

Message Bills, McCoy’s testimony, a little history and a rally to support the GLBT community

I’ve been posting frequently about the Buttars Bills. The issues on which these bills (and some others, I might add) are based are what is being termed as “message” bills and not focused on citizens needs.

One Utah has an audio clip of Utah Senator Scott McCoy’s passionate testimony about the Buttars bills and the attack on the homosexual community. Posting about his remarks does not do his testimony justice. Listen to it.

Other senators opposed to this legislation make testimony also about divisiveness and hatred and “throwing stones”. Analogies and poignant stories of past events are made to the body.

Proponents of the bill pointed out that the words “gay and lesbian” are not mentioned in the bill. However, Buttars keeps referring to homosexuality in his defense of the bill.

Buttars argued that “traditional moral values” upon which these countries were founded must be upheld……
Let’s taken a momentary aside and examine the personal lives and “moral values”of our founding fathers, shall we? Thomas Jefferson, for example, had a questionable sexual life. There is also some question as to whether or not Amercia was actually founded on the principles of christianity – even amongst the christian communities.

When touting the “traditional moral values” upon which our country was founded, it would behoove our legislators to first define “traditional moral values” and to then substantiate the claims with evidence that may be or my not be challenged.

The GLBT community and supporters will be holding a rally on Monday night:

Family Night at the Capitol
Monday, February 27 at 4:00 P.M. on the West Plaza Capital Grounds

PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) invites you to a peaceful rally of support for the GLBT Community and for Gay/Straight Alliances on Monday, February 27 at 4:00 p.m. on the West Plaza Capital Grounds.

What our legislators are doing and saying is wrong, immoral, and sending a negative message to our community. Bring friends and family. Wear t-shirts, buttons, and make banners or posters that make a statement of how you feel about the proposed bills that will affect our community and our loved ones. Include positive messages that we want them to know about our friends and family members. Together we can make a difference. This is the last chance we have during this Legislative session to stand together and have our voices be heard. Please join us!

Thanks,

Geralynn Barney
PFLAG Mom

Utah Legislators “Moral” Bills

Morality…..and morality:

The Utah Senate became engaged in a debate over homosexuality yesterday after some senators framed their defense of the anti-gay club bill (which the Senate passed) around the degradation of heterosexual morality.

A man who testified before a House committee earlier this week told the Senate that his niece had been “recruited” and “indoctrinated” by an alliance to speak in defense of homosexuals to her parents’ dismay.
“We allow the homosexual community to frame the argument . . . that these are nice friendly support groups. This is not true. You just heard that,” Buttars said. “To get the homosexual community’s agenda to pass, they have to get us to redefine our traditional morality completely. If you’re going to say homosexual behavior is OK, you’ve declared there is no morality.”
The statements offended Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City.
“I have never recruited a single person into the homosexual lifestyle because it’s not a chosen lifestyle. I didn’t wake up one day and choose to be gay, and I don’t believe . . . any of you woke up one day and chose to be heterosexual. It’s what you are,” McCoy said.
“It isn’t recruiting to say we recognize there are different kinds of people in the world and there are different ideas in the world and we should give respect and dignity to those people even though they’re different from us . . . and I take exception to the notion that being gay or lesbian is the antithesis of being moral. We are absolutely moral people,” McCoy said.
He added that the real moral issue of the session is to fund services for the poor, people with disabilities and education.

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A third attempt to get the “Origins of Life” bill passed, where public school science teachers would be dicated to teach the concept of “intelligent design” – or at least allude to it – was initiated in Utah’s Senate yesterday.

SB96’s House sponsor, Rep. Jim Ferrin, R-Orem, wants to substitute the bill a third time, taking out all references to the “origins of life” but still aiming to keep teachers from telling students they evolved from apes.
But that can happen only if the House Rules Committee agrees to put the bill up for its final legislative debate.
The changes didn’t win over school officials who oppose the bill, primarily because it treads on the state school board’s authority to set curriculum.

Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, last summer said he received parent complaints that children were being taught they evolved from apes, bringing into question their faith on creation. His SB96 has attempted to stop that from happening.
The bill’s Senate debates centered on the merits of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and were chock-full of religious references.
Opponents have feared the bill would open the door to teaching creationism or “intelligent design” — the idea that life is too complicated to be explained in public school by Darwin’s theory alone, which a Pennsylvania federal court earlier this winter struck down as unconstitutional. Ferrin attempted to take religion out of the discussion when the bill came to the House. His proposed substitute would erase references to the origins of life and tighten language to zero in on evolution.

Despite the proposed “changes” however, school officials still feel that it is unconsitutional and would interfere with the state board’s oversight of state curriculum. Additionally, this is yet another bill that legislates morality and stems from one set of religious beliefs. And again our legislators are spending time on issues that do not fund services for the people.