Campaign: Buy Rubbers for Buttars

April 1 is anti-gay state Sen. Chris Buttars’ birthday, and some Utahns want to commemorate the day by sending him cards.

Cards, that is, to let the West Jordan Republican know that someone has purchased condoms in his name.

Begun by anonymous activists on the Web site firstgiving.com, the Condoms for Chris! Campaign is seeking to raise $5,000 for the Utah AIDS Foundation.

“To honor all that Chris Buttars has done for Utahns lately, how about we honor him back?” asks the posting on the Web site.

Buttars is well-known for making anti-gay remarks. In February, documentary filmmaker Reed Cowan released an interview with Buttars in which the state Senator said that gays had no morals and were a threat to America equivalent to terrorists. Buttars’ comments made national headlines and launched a call for his resignation.

Republican leadership defended Buttars’ right to free speech, but removed him from a legislative committee. They later said they had censured Buttars because the Senator had promised not to speak publicly about gay issues this session, not because they necessarily disagreed with his remarks.

For every $10 donated to the Condoms for Chris! campaign, a card will be sent to Buttars “acknowledging that a donation was made in his name for the purchase of condoms.”

“Together, we can overflow his office with cards telling him just how many condoms he has provided,” reads the campaign’s Web site. “Support a great cause, and make a statement at the same time.”

Bret Hanna, Utah AIDS Foundation Trustee Chair, said that the campaign was not an effort of UAF.

When asked whether his organization approved of the campaign, he said: “We appreciate the community getting involved in fund raising; however, as an AIDS service organization we don’t take an official stance on political issues of this nature.”

The Condoms for Christ! campaign can be found at firstgiving.com/happybirthdaybuttars. At press time it had raised $40 of its $5,000 goal.

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