Sunday, December 29, 2013

Utah GOP to Spend $2 Million Opposing Gay Marriage

Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart (R)
Talk about misplaced priorities!  As the Congressional Republicans get their wish and cast over 1 million unemployed Americans into the gutter,  Republicans in Utah have enthusiastically announced that the Utah Republican Party will expend up to $2 Million to hire private legal counsel to fight the U.S. District Court ruling striking down Utah's bans on gay marriage.  Today's Republicans will spend millions to deny civil rights to citizens while throwing away the families of the unemployed like unwanted garbage.  It is vile and disgusting.  KLS TV reports on the Utah GOP's decision to spend freely to support hate and bigotry.  Here are highlights:

SALT LAKE CITY — The price tag for hiring outside counsel to defend Utah's voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage is expected to be close to $2 million, money that key GOP lawmakers are willing to spend. 

"We need the best we can get," House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said after a House GOP leadership meeting Friday with newly named Attorney General Sean Reyes. "He's coming into this, frankly, in the middle." 

Reyes laid out his case for bringing in help to seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court of last Friday's ruling striking down Amendment 3, a decision resulting in same-sex marriage being allowed in Utah. 

He has said he also intends to use the outside counsel to bolster the state's appeal of U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby's ruling to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly to the Supreme Court.
Lockhart said she is hearing from other lawmakers that their constituents are willing to fight for Amendment 3 in court, even if that means coming up with more cash. 

"To go through the court process on an issue that, on a 2-to-1 vote the people of our state felt was important to have in our constitution, I think is of value," the speaker said. 

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said he has yet to talk with Reyes about hiring outside counsel but would likely be willing to appropriate the funds in the coming legislative session. 

"We should be paying for the best and the brightest," [Senator John] Valentine said. "This is a case that is not only a historic precedent, but it's one that really goes to the core of what states' rights is all about."

Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, however, said there's no need to hire outside counsel.   "I think it's a ridiculous way to go. I don't think we're going to win," Davis said. "I believe we have appropriated the money for the attorney general's office for good attorneys to be able to argue any issue." 

"Defending discrimination while expending millions of taxpayer dollars to do it is beyond explanation," the HRC said. "It should be an affront to all Utahns that their hard-earned tax dollars — dollars that should be going into schools, roads or health programs — will instead be used to be on the wrong side of history." 

Opponents of gay marriage are really no different than those of the past who opposed the abolition of slavery and later who supported Jim Crow laws.  It is ALL about hate and bigotry and, as in the past religious belief is cited to justify the mistreatment of others.  Religion truly is toxic.

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