Whether explaining Equality Utah’s bills and programs to the public or explaining them to legislators most of us would never want to meet, Will Carlson has served Equality Utah above and beyond brilliantly since 2006. This, of course, makes his semi-departure for Salt Lake City Chief Prosecutor Sim Gill’s office all the more bittersweet. Of course, the sweet to this bitter is actually that Carlson will be staying on as a volunteer, so we won’t be without his inestimable help. Still, it will be sad not to hear his charming voice on the telephone or on the TV news. QSaltLake congratulates Carlson on years of excellent work and looks forward to great things from him as a city prosecutor.
SLAP: Sen. Chris Buttars
Some people are calling West Jordan Republican and all-around homophobe Sen. Chris Buttars’ about face on gay and transgender-inclusive workplace and housing antidiscrimination laws miraculous — or at least, as miraculous as agreeing with your church’s stance on the topic can be We, on the other hand, call bullshit. One does not become a friend of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people by offering to run some vague bill that may or may not hamstring municipal governments when it comes to anything for queer people beyond housing and employment protections. A hint to Buttars: The process of getting us to trust you starts with shutting up with the pretty speeches and giving us a genuine “I’m sorry.” You know: For bludgeoning our every attempt at achieving basic civil rights with a “marriage defense” bill you created, and which you and your buddies assured us would never be used in such a way; For trying to steamroll Salt Lake City’s domestic partner registry that had virtually no state-granted rights behind it because it might have “offended” Utah’s definition of marriage; For describing our intimacy on tape in some of the vilest language one can find in the sewer of Urban Dictionary (gentle readers, if you still haven’t googled “pig-sex” after all this time, don’t — or at least, don’t blame us if you then throw up a lung). It’s going to take more than suggesting that cities may go no further in protecting gay and transgender people than protecting us from arbitrary eviction or firing to earn that trust, Senator. Until then, we should all brace ourselves for a sucker punch.