Gay Rights | News | Scott McCoy | Utah

Utah Gov Voices Support for Gay Rights Initiative, Civil Unions

Equality Utah's 'Common Ground' initiative has not seen much success. Two of its bills have failed already. The first failed in committee on the second day of the legislature, and the second, which would have erased the portion of the state's same-sex marriage ban forbidding civil unions, was pulled. But the set of initiatives did receive support yesterday from Utah's Governor:

Huntsmanjr"Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., a spokeswoman said Monday, backs Equality Utah's Common Ground Initiative, a legislative effort that would provide some rights to gay and transgender Utahns. Even more, the Republican governor favors civil unions. It's a position that runs counter to his political party and against the majority of Utahns -- 70 percent of whom oppose civil unions, according to a recent Salt Lake Tribune poll. 'He's long supported many of the ideas that are presented within the Common Ground Initiative,' said Lisa Roskelley, the governor's spokeswoman, noting her boss waits to endorse specific bills officially until presented to him in final form. 'He supports civil unions.' It's doubtful Huntsman's backing will lead to civil unions getting past the conservative Legislature. And it may not help the rest of this year's gay-rights legislative push, which already has shrunk from four bills to two."

As far as the remaining half of the gay rights initiative: "Of the remaining Common Ground bills, one would make it illegal to fire or evict someone for being gay or transgender. The other would allow two, unmarried cohabiting adults to file a "declaration of joint support" with their county recorder and gain benefits of inheritance and medical-decision making."

Homophobic Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka and Utah State Senator Scott McCoy debate the Common Ground initative on Utah's KSL5, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Come on now, this Gayle Ruzicka is so obviously a man. Look at her! And in fact I submit that she's a leather daddy [make that grand-daddy]; she's co-opted the name Eagle into her organization's name. Everyone knows Eagle is code for leather fetish.

    Seriously now, let's see whether the LDS are true to their word. My bet is no.

    Posted by: Ted | Feb 10, 2009 9:21:02 AM

  2. Come on now, this Gayle Ruzicka is so obviously a man. Look at her! And in fact I submit that she's a leather daddy [make that grand-daddy]; she's co-opted the name Eagle into her organization's name. Everyone knows Eagle is code for leather fetish.

    Seriously now, let's see whether the LDS are true to their word. My bet is no.

    Posted by: Ted | Feb 10, 2009 9:21:18 AM

  3. This comment would be political suicide for anyone except Mr. Huntsman. He is rich and probably will not run for Governor in 2012. Why have the aggravation. So he can make these statements with impunity and make a grand gesture for his legacy.

    It’s a sure bet now Mr. M. Romney will become Utah’s next governor. It’s abundantly clear Mitt could not win a national election but he needs a high-profile job. Utah will welcome him with open arms…unless Gayle and her friends get wind of how gay-friendly Mitt was in Massachusetts.

    Posted by: cowboy | Feb 10, 2009 10:20:42 AM

  4. Although it is interesting (and surprising) that Governor Huntsman backs LGBT civil rights, the real test of his commitment would be for him to pressure the Legislature to actually pass the Common Ground bills.

    He might be angling for national office by painting himself as a centrist. If he were to seek the presidency, he'd have to distance himself from the positions of the Mormon Church to be palatable to the majority of Americans. This is one way of doing it.

    Posted by: Ben | Feb 10, 2009 10:37:01 AM

  5. Way to go, Governor Huntsman! Stick to it.

    (Oh, and to my fellow gays, no, this isn't marriage, but this is freaking Utah we're talking about here. I'm sure he's receiving thousands of angry calls over this.)

    Posted by: GayRepublican | Feb 10, 2009 10:47:44 AM

  6. Ben,
    I’m not sure Jon Huntsman, Jr. will want to participate in the political process to be a U.S. President. Mitt Romney now knows that it would be virtually impossible for a Mormon to be voted in as a President. Mitt is well aware of the virulent anti-Mormon current that flows inside much of the country. It would be impossible for any Mormon to get over the “cult” issue. The feeling the country could be run autonomously by a Mormon would be shaded by thoughts of a cult-like puppet government run by dictates from the LDS Leaders in Salt Lake City. Even now, the California populace is now suspect of the political power of the Mormons within their State…and not in a good way.

    No…most political aspirations of Mormons in any national aspect will be relegated to local representation. And it’s all because of Proposition 8 and the lessons Mormons has learned from Mitt Romney’s campaigning. The perception of Mormons is still weird and they are not to be trusted.

    Posted by: cowboy | Feb 10, 2009 11:08:27 AM

  7. Huntsman has publicly stated that he believes strongly in term limits. He was overwhelmingly reelected to his second term last November and has said publicly it was his last term. That takes the pressure of reelection off of him, so he can be honest. Gayle is something (man or woman) that we have to perpetually make fun of. No one except the fundamentalist polygamist folks in Green River listen to her or take her seriously. But good for him. A lot of people respect his opinion, including this homo. If anything, this serves as a reminder of the thoughts and ideals of the centrist population that primarily inhabits the Wasatch Front.

    Posted by: msb | Feb 10, 2009 11:37:03 AM

  8. What confuses me, Gayle and “the gay” McCoy both recite a statistic about 80+ percent of Utahns would give some civil rights to gays but according the TRIB 70% don’t want even civil marriage for gays. How incongruent can a bunch of people get?

    Posted by: cowboy | Feb 10, 2009 12:33:17 PM

  9. Wow!

    Give the Guv your letters, etc of support!

    Governor Huntsman
    Utah State Capitol Complex
    350 North State Street, Suite 200
    PO Box 142220
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2220
    Fax 801-538-1528

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Feb 10, 2009 12:52:01 PM

  10. Huntsman has been a plesant suprise to most of the progressive people in Utah. He looks like a little boy playing cowboy when he wears casual clothes. He is made for a suit and important office. He is careful about what he says and seems to have good judgement in managing state affairs. Gayle is like something from the pits of Mordor though. She is the toadstool that grows from Ann Coulters turd. She never fails to have the most offensive, reactionary, filthy minded statements (gay = anus). She and Chris Buttars are so filled with hate that it shows. It shows on the bitter scowling faces and it shows in the perverted subject of their statements and agendas. The joke in Utah has been that the signs at the state border say "Welcome to Utah, set your clocks back ten years." We are backward and behind the times, but we are making progress.

    Posted by: Rikard | Feb 10, 2009 6:38:34 PM

  11. When did the Mormon church finally recognize black people as human beings? It wsn't til the seventies, was it? It wouldn't surprise me to find out that the majority of them still crap into holes. Oh, here's the cite right from the Black Mormon Homepage: From 1848 until June 8th, 1978, Black Mormons were "banned" from the priesthood (which all male Mormons over 12 hold), and from worshipping in Mormon Temples. This was called "The Priesthood-ban". During those 130 years (1848 to 1978) Mormon Church leaders taught, as official Church doctrine, that Negroes were the "cursed" children of Cain, that the Mark of Cain was a black skin, and that Negroes were "less valiant" in the War in Heaven (a battle between Jesus and Lucifer before this planet was created in which all human spirits were involved)." Heh.

    Posted by: KJ | Feb 10, 2009 8:36:06 PM

  12. it is time for gay americans to boycott utah and organizations doing business there. that would include sundance. we need to hit the lds and its members financially. complaining without conviction and a plan is pointless.

    Posted by: lawrence kennedy | Feb 18, 2009 7:31:31 AM

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