Utah Sen. Daniel Thatcher has been a Republican member of the Utah State Senate, representing District 12, since 2010. His early legacy was certainly apropos of Utah conservatism. In 2012, Sen. Thatcher voted against a bill requiring an orientation for new state lawmakers to be trained on Utah’s statistical demographics, and cultural diversity and sensitivity. He and other legislators who nayed the bill were also the same legislators who voted against the statewide nondiscrimination bill.
Then in 2014, the senator signed a brief, along with 79 other Republican members of the Utah State Legislature, filed with the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to hear Utah’s same-sex marriage case and to reverse Judge Robert Shelby’s decision that Amendment 3 was unconstitutional. In the brief, they said they “are sincerely dedicated to representing and protecting the interests of all Utah citizens.”
“We especially feel a profound duty to the children of the State, derived from deep historical roots and experience that confirm that children are substantially benefited and best served by public endorsement and recognition of marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman as husband and wife,” the brief read. “This promotes and protects a child’s bond with his or her biological parents bound together as a married mother and father. When this is not possible, the State definition of marriage maximizes the likelihood that a child will be raised by a married mother and father.”
Within the last year or two, Sen. Thatcher has seemingly become a more progressive politician. Last year, his proposed legislation, Senate Bill 72 — a measure which would have delineated hate crimes as those perpetuated because of the victim’s perceived “ancestry, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation” — was left untouched throughout the 2017 legislative session. The bill was never even debated in committee — the first debate a bill sees on its road to becoming a law.
The setback hasn’t fazed the senator, however. On Sep. 13, he announced to the West Jordan City Council he’s bringing a bill in the 2018 legislative session that would give law enforcement better, stronger tools to address crimes targeting victims because of their sexual orientation, race, religion, nationality and disability.
This came on the heels of the West Jordan City Council passing a landmark resolution urging the Utah Legislature to beef up laws against crimes that target people based on race, religion or sexual orientation.