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Statement by GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano on Utah State Senator Buttars Anti-Gay Remarks

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GLAAD Commends Local Media Outlets on Highlighting Anti-Gay Rhetoric

Richard Ferraro
Director of Communications
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

February 20, 2009

February 20, 2009, New York, NY – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) commends local media outlets including KTVX ABC 4 and The Salt Lake Tribune for their recent highlighting of anti-gay comments made by Utah State Senator Chris Buttars of Utah in a January 30, 2009 on-camera interview with filmmaker Reed Cowen, which was taped in Buttars' official Senate office. In versions of the interview released this week to KTVX-TV, Buttars states that “Homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion. And you say that around here now and everybody goes nuts. But I don’t care.” Buttars also states that gay people are the “greatest threat to America.” These statements are part of a longer interview for Cowen’s upcoming documentary and continue Buttars’ long history of defamatory and racist remarks.

“These defamatory statements about our community by an elected official are unconscionable,” said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. “Buttars has used his public office to assert untrue and unfounded statements about gay people. GLAAD thanks media outlets including KTVX-TV ABC and The Salt Lake Tribune for bringing attention to these statements and holding accountable an elected official who is on record using offensive and defamatory language to promulgate hate and ignorance about our community.”

GLAAD has been tracking media coverage of the story and working with local LGBT advocates including Jacob Whipple to raise awareness of Buttars’ anti-gay history.  For full statements released please visit glaadBLOG, which first reported on the story on February 18: http://glaadblog.org/2009/02/18/utah-state-senator-calls-gay-people-greatest-threat-to-america/.