Archive for the 'Politics' Category
TIME magazine did a writeup on Jon Huntsman this week. Here is an interesting excerpt:
And as for whether or not Huntsman still belongs to the Church of Latter-day Saints, I know less than I did before I asked him. (“I’m a very spiritual person,” as opposed to a religious one, he says, “and proud of my Mormon roots.” Roots? That makes it sound as if you’re not a member anymore. Are you? “That’s tough to define,” he says. “There are varying degrees. I come from a long line of saloon keepers and proselytizers, and I draw from both sides.”)
I chuckle as this is coming from the son of an Area Seventy and member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy (Jon Huntsman Sr.) and grandson of a former Apostle (David B. Haight).
Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah and US Ambassador to China appears to investigating a run for the presidency in 2012. While I still think that I would vote for Barack Obama if he runs (and what would it take for him not to?), I think Huntsman is very appealing for a Republican.
He was a centrist governor, supported (or at least did not rail against) LGBT rights and seems like a genuine person who wants to do the right thing.
It doesn’t hurt to have a billionaire father, because that takes off any financial pressures that might be exerted by 3rd-party interests — which seems to be the thing that drives most elections these days.
The Utah State Republican Party this past week spent a great deal of time creating their platform for the 2012 elections. This snippet caught my eye:
Delegate David Baxter is urging his conservative colleagues to adopt a platform that declares “God-given sexual power is to be used only between a husband and wife” — a stance that goes beyond an existing plank that marriage is to be between a man and a woman.
“We need to preserve the traditional family,” he said Thursday, “for the strength of society, the strength of the community and the strength of the individuals themselves.”
Baxter said the party should make it clear that it doesn’t support sodomy, adultery or fornication.
Fortunately, it appears that it was overwhelmingly defeated.
This time of year is so scary in Utah as the right-wing, homophobic branch of the Utah state government attempts to yet again legislate peoples’ lives. We breathed a collective sigh of relief today, as demonstrated below by this email:
It’s over! Tonight, the Legislative Session came to a close without any anti-LGBT bills passing! Thank you all for your emails and phone calls. We had over 50 Citizen Lobbyists speaking directly to their Legislators about LGBT issues.
Here are some highlights:
SB 304 Preventing Bullying and Hazing passed and is waiting for Gov Herbert’s signature. This bill adds cyberbullying to the list of actions prohibited!
Rep. LaVar Christensen abandoned his three anti-LGBT bills!
HB 182 Voiding Contracts Against Public Policy
HB 109 Religious Liberty Recognition
HB 270 Family Policy
We had a hearing on the 2nd parent Adoption bill SB 62 sponsored by Sen. Ross Romero, which resulted in a room full of supporters, and great testimony that will remain on public record about our families.
Sen. McAdams made a motion on the Senate Floor to let SB 148, the Fair Workplace and Housing Bill, out of the Rules Committee to have a public debate. We plan to work with Sen. McAdams on the Fair Workplace and Housing bill through the Interim Session.
Working for a fair & just Utah,
It’s just nice that the LGBT community dodged any overt bullets this session.
But there’s always next year.
Anti-gay marriage bill defeated in Senate
(Laramie Daily Boomerang)
A bill that would have banned recognition of same-sex marriages performed out of state was defeated Wednesday in the Wyoming Senate.
The Senate voted 16-14 to reject concurrence on House Bill 74, thereby ending weeks of passionate debate that took place in both houses of the Wyoming Legislature.
Laramie Sens. Phil Nicholas and Chris Rothfuss voted against the bill.
The Senate vote followed action in the state House of Representatives, where HB 74 passed on a 31-28 vote. Laramie Reps. Kermit Brown, Matt Greene, Glenn Moniz and Cathy Connolly voted against the bill.
HB 74 states marriage contracts from out-of-state are valid in Wyoming so long as they involve one man and one woman.
While current state law says marriage only exists between one man and one woman in Wyoming, it does allow for the recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions performed out of state.
HB 74 was amended numerous times after it was introduced last month. The Senate removed much of the language referring to civil unions and also allowed couples in civil unions to have access to the courts to resolve disputes. The subsection was later removed in a joint committee.
Today, debate in the Senate was short, and it only centered on whether or not HB 74 violated the joint conference committee rules, which the senate president said it did not.
In the House, however, opponents of the bill took to the floor and argued passionately against HB 74.
Rep. Pete Illoway, R-Cheyenne, asked his colleagues to not concur on HB 74.
He cited Article 1, Section 2 of the Wyoming Constitution, which says, “In their inherent right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, all members of the human race are equal.”
“People are equal, whether you agree with their lifestyle or not,” he said.
Illoway said gays and lesbians are parents, siblings, business owners, civic volunteers, health care and social workers, teachers, board members, clergy and Wyoming residents who support the state with their tax dollars.
“They do lots of things,” he said, “so why are we doing what we’re doing?”
Ok, so I feel a lot better about my natal state.
Wyo. Senate defeats same-sex marriage bill
(AP) MARCH 03, 2011
A bill that would have barred recognition of same-sex marriages in Wyoming died Wednesday in the state Senate.
The Senate voted 16-14 against the bill, which had been the subject of a series of difficult conference committee meetings over the past week.
The conference committee had voted ultimately to strip off a Senate amendment that would have specified that same-sex couples who enter civil unions in other states would still have access to Wyoming courts to settle disagreements such as child custody issues that might arise in their relationships.
The Senate didn’t discuss the bill before voting it down. The vote came after the Senate Rules Committee dispensed with two technical challenges to the conference committee report in closed hearings.
Got this from The Washington Post today:
Breaking News Alert: Obama administration rescinds key parts of federal regulation on ‘conscience protections’ for health workers
February 18, 2011 1:15:14 PM
The Obama administration on Friday eliminated key provisions of a George W. Bush-era rule that allowed health workers to opt out of medical services they find objectionable on religious or personal grounds. The rule was widely interpreted as allowing workers to refuse to participate in a range of services, including providing the emergency contraceptive Plan B and treating gays and lesbians.
The new rule leaves intact previously established “conscience protections” for workers who do not want to perform abortions or sterilizations. It also retains the Bush rule’s formal process for allowing workers whose rights are violated to file complaints.
The Wyoming Senate is deliberating a bill that would essentially strip all rights accorded to same-sex couples by any other state while they are in Wyoming.
Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, asked his fellow senators to vote against HB 74.
“We should kill this bill. We should kill it right now,” he said. “We should kill it because it’s not very well thought out. It has enormous practical implications.”
Case said HB 74 would temporarily void the marriages or civil unions of same-sex couples who are visiting Wyoming from another state, which means they would lose their legal rights for the time they are here.
“What about the millions of people that visit Wyoming? That just come for vacation,” he said. “We’re so proud of our visitors, now we’re going to say all of you visitors who happen to be from another state, when you come across the border, you’re magically not together any more. ‘Poof.’ It’s gone. Don’t get into a car wreck. If you’re in a hospital and you’re dying, and your partner is with you, we’re going to have to call your mother because that’s the nearest relative that we’re going to recognize under Wyoming (law) to make decisions about your life.”
In addition to hospital visitation and medical decisions, HB 74 would strip married or civilly joined same-sex couples of the legal rights pertaining to the transfer of property and life insurance benefits, Case said.