Chris Buttars, the Utah state senator who was removed from two committees last week for his remarks comparing gays to radical Muslim extremists and saying they are America's "greatest threat," posted a message on the GOP senate blog on Friday,
"I was disappointed to learn of the Utah State Senate’s censure on Feb. 20, 2009. However, this action will not discourage me from defending marriage from an increasingly vocal and radical segment of the homosexual community. In recent years, registering opposition to the homosexual agenda has become almost impossible. Political correctness has replaced open and energetic debate. Those who dare to disagree with the homosexual agenda are labeled 'haters,' and 'bigots,' and are censured by their peers. The media contributes to the problem. Increasingly, individuals with conservative beliefs are targeted by a left-leaning media that uses their position of public trust as a bully pulpit. This pattern of intimidation suppresses free speech. For the record, I do not agree with the censure I see it as an attempt to shy away from controversy. In particular, I disagree with my removal as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, since my work there is entirely unrelated to my opposition to the homosexual agenda. Still, I’m a grown man and I can take my knocks. When it comes right down to it, I would rather be censured for doing what I think is right, than be honored by my colleagues for bowing to the pressure of a special interest group that has been allowed to act with impunity. Thanks to the many citizens who have written and called to express their support. Please know that I’ll live through this to fight another day. In years to come, we’ll all look back at this point in history and see it as a crossroads. I have no intention of resigning."
And according to one senator who says he agrees with Buttars' views, Buttars was removed from the committees not for the content of his remarks, but because he violated an agreement that he not speak publicly about gay issues because of his leadership position on the committees.
Said Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper: "Most of what Senator Buttars said, I agree with. We as a Senate caucus had an agreement that because Sen. Buttars had become such a lightning rod on this issue, he would not be the spokesman on this issue, and basically he violated that agreement."
The Utah senate stands behind him, according to Senate President Michael Waddoups.
A refresh of Buttars' remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...