Thought of the Day: The Utah Standard-Examiner Editorial Board

tour2“The Legislature’s apparent move to quickly kill — in committee — several bills to ensure legal rights for gay persons and same-sex couples is a cynical, political short-circuit. The bills deserve an appropriate debate period and floor votes before state legislators.

These are not extreme positions. And despite what opponents hysterically claim, they are not a conspiracy to bring gay marriage to Utah via judicial fiat. Take Senate Bill 32, for example: The proposal from State Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City, was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It would have allowed Utahns dependent on a nontraditional family member to sue if that person suffered a wrongful death. Does that include same-sex partners? Of course, but it would also allow, for example, grandchildren to sue if Grandpa or Grandma was paying the bills and died. Unfortunately, that part of the argument is lost in the oogy, scary haze of legislators afraid to incur the wrath of Eagle Forum if they are seen as pro gay rights.

In our opinion, SB 32 and its companion bills make sense. If you do not allow gay and lesbians to marry, at least offer legal rights allowed to married couples. But we respect that there is a different opinion. So, why not get the debate going in the Legislature. If legislators are going to deny basic legal rights to a large group of people, shouldn’t they be on the record rather than hiding the proceeding in a committee and killing it by a party-line vote?”— Odgen Utah’s Standard-Examiner editorial board, writing against the Utah State Legislature’s decision to kill the first part of the “Common Ground”, which would confer basic legal rights to Utahn LGBT citizens, initiative in committee.