SLAP: Senate Pres. Michael Waddoups
Two things are impossible in Utah: fair booze laws and a quiet Legislative Session. This said, we weren’t exactly surprised when Sen. Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, essentially told gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Utahns to sit down and shut up (or as he put it, stop our “offensive” and “polarizing” behavior) or risk the possibility of legislative wrath. Seriously, senator? Did you really think any reasonable queer person would read your statements without taking them as a threat or at the very least an incredibly degrading insult? Actually, don’t answer that, and don’t make any half-assed apologies on the Senate blog, either — especially if said apologies include cutesy little emoticons. Instead, apologize for causing an oppressed minority community yet more pain, and clarify your statement without simply finding a new way of repeating the original insult. That’s the way to look like a politician — and more importantly, a person — of integrity and goodwill.
SNAP: Our Community
The currently rocky legislative compromise about which Waddoups made his remarks —that is, a hold-off on all gay and transgender-related bills in exchange for letting Salt Lake City’s nondiscrimination ordinances stand — have caused our community a lot of grief, anger and frustration. In spite of that, the willingness of activists on all sides of the compromise debate to come together for a respectful and peaceful conversation on Feb. 11 at the University of Utah is an enormous credit to us all. Once again, this discussion proved that Utah’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is one of the strongest and most powerful in the country. As we go forward this year, let’s remember both the tenor of that discussion and the importance of directing our activism against those bigots in the legislature who insist we entertain such compromises in the first place.
SNAP: Our Entrepreneurs
Unlike some of the Legislature’s more obnoxious members, Utah’s business community has largely been supportive of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Utahns. We’ve profiled a few of these gay owned and gay-friendly businesses in this issue and encourage you to support those businesspeople of all sexual orientations and gender identities who support you.