SNAP: Queer Prom
Salt Lake City’s public library is one of the most striking buildings in the city, but it’s never looked better than on April 10, when hundreds of teenagers packed into its main hall for a night of friends, food, fun and, of course, dancing — all without having to worry about being thrown out or harassed for dancing with someone of the same sex, or wearing “gender inappropriate” clothing. It was also encouraging to see the entire community turn out to make this night a good experience, from the helpful chaperons and Utah Pride Center staff to the police providing event security. Although nobody on QSaltLake’s staff has been to prom in decades, we can safely say that ours weren’t nearly as fun or creative. We’re a little jealous.
SLAP: Michael Waddoups
It seems that Sarah Palin was right. Healthcare death panels really do exist. At least, the State Legislature seems interested in creating one. Last week, Senate President Michael Waddoups and the Executive Appropriations Committee voted to hold off on accepting federal funds for the Ryan White Program, which helps low-income Utahns with HIV/AIDS purchase their anti-retroviral medications. Their reasoning? “Obamacare” will cover this, and having HIV/AIDS is due to “lifestyle choices,” anyway. The same “Obamacare” that will mandate insurance coverage for all adults regardless of pre-existing conditions — in 2014. And the same disease that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and which kills straight and gay individuals equally when they don’t have their medication. Shame on Waddoups and the committee for using the lives of some of the most vulnerable Utahns to rail at the federal government yet again. The Legislature’s never ending romance with sending messages about things they don’t like has likely cost our state more time and money than any program like Ryan White ever could.