An anti-gay diatribe by Sen. Chris Buttars will cost him his spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee, The Tribune has learned. Senate Republicans, prompted by complaints from minority Democrats, held a frank discussion of Buttars’ actions in a closed-door caucus Thursday. Afterward, senators would not discuss what action, if any, might be taken against the West Jordan Republican. Part of it, Senate leaders said, depends on what Buttars, who left the Capitol after Thursday’s caucus to be with his family, decides to do. He did not return a phone message. But Senate President Michael Waddoups said the action he plans to take is clear. “I’ve made up my mind what I’m going to do,” Waddoups, R-Taylorsville said, but he would not elaborate. Sources familiar with the Senate discussions, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Senate Republican caucus decided to remove Buttars from the Senate Judiciary Committee, a panel which he currently chairs.
I’ll have to admit that I’m impressed that a GOP president of the Utah senate is taking this swift action.
UPDATE: Buttars was indeed booted today.
Utah state Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, has been kicked off a judicial committee he chaired after comparing gay activists to radical Muslims. Buttars also told filmmaker Reed Cowan that gay activists are “probably the greatest threat to America going down.” Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups announced this morning that Buttars will be removed as chair and a member of the Judicial Standing Committee. He will remain on the Senate Rules Committee. Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, says the move shouldn’t be viewed as punishment but rather the removal of a distraction. He said this will free Sen. Buttars to be more at ease when speaking his opinions. He also said he stands behind Buttars’ rights to express his opinions and to serve in the Senate.