In a letter to Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Utah Pride Center Steven Ha asked for an “in-person apology” for comments Herbert made at his monthly news conference.
At the news conference, Herbert called the decisions of governors across the country to not defend their constitutional amendments and laws after court rulings struck them, “the next step to anarchy.”
Herbert also said he believed homosexuality is a choice. After being pressed, he back-tracked to expressions of homosexuality being a choice.
“I think it’s unclear, I expect there may be different gradations,” he said in response to a question on whether he views homosexuality as a choice. “Clearly the actions involved in sexual activity ultimately end up being choices. What your attraction may be is something else but how you act upon those impulses is a choice.”
Ha responded on behalf of the Utah Pride Center.
“Governor Herbert says his job is to represent the people of Utah. He does not represent us. His irresponsible claims fly in the face of all established science in the area of sexuality and continue to push a 19th century view of the world. This abuse of authority harms an already marginalized group, and shows a complete lack of understanding of the issue and due process. Gov. Herbert’s comments are tone-deaf given the number of court cases and rulings presented not only in Utah, but around the Country,” Ha wrote in a statement. “If anyone represents an agent of anarchy, it is the governor. He refuses to recognize medical and psychological science, he refuses to recognize public opinion, he refuses to recognize the authority of the courts, and he refuses to recognize the constitution of the United States of America.”
In his letter to the governor, Ha invited the governor to address the community.
“We would like to arrange a safe space for you to meet with some of the LGBTQ individuals, couples, families and allies to offer an in-person apology for the hurt caused by your remarks.”
A call to the governor’s office for comment has not yet been returned.