Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 41, Ed. 1 Friday, February 24, 2006 Page: 23 of 100
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Utah senator amends ban
on gay-straight allliances
State attorney general said bill's original language would violate federal
equal access laws; sponsor says measure necessary to stop 'recruitment'
By Jennifer Dobner Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Back on Capitol Hill
after 15 days in the hospital, Senator Chris
Buttars has amended his bill against gay clubs.
The amended bill was endorsed by the Senate
Education Committee on a 4-2 vote Monday, and
will now get a debate by the full Senate.
Buttars, a Republican, adopted language in a
similar House bill regarding the definition of
human sexuality. Some said the original language
would ban gay-straight alliance clubs from
Utah's public high schools, but the Utah attorney
general said it would run afoul of federal equal
There is question now what Buttars' Senate
Bill 97 would do, if anything. Some say the
amended definition still could allow for the clubs
to be banned, or at least force name changes, as
state law bans any discussion of human sexuality
Also attending the hearing Monday was
Representative Aaron Tilton, a Republican,
whose version of the school clubs legislation was
endorsed by the House Education committee last
week. Buttars' amendment adopted the same
broad definitions used by Tilton.
Tilton has said his intention is not to ban any
Buttars said his bill would clarify for state
school districts what the rules are for granting
charters for non-curricular clubs. He said districts
need the clarification so they can make decisions
without fear of lawsuits from the American Civil
''Otherwise if you wanted to have a Texas
Hold 'Em club, poker, you could do that and they
could say we're not gambling, we're just teach-
ing them how the game works," Buttars said.
"You could have the same thing with a-Nazi club,
or any other extreme club."
Senator Patrice Arent, a Democrat, said the
school boards and state school officials believe
the bill does not grant them any authority they do
not already have,
Buttars contends that the alliances, which exist
at 14 schools across the state, are vehicles used
by gays and lesbians to "recruit" others.
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Senator Christ Buttars says House Bill 97 would clarity
the rules governing school clubs for school districts in
"I've said all the way along to screen out, in a
school of 2,000, kids that are confused or that
might have a question and they can come to this
and be indoctrinated," Buttars said.
;No public testimony was taken at the hearing,
although Buttars was allowed to have a con-
stituent speak on behalf of the bill.
Scott M. Soulier said his high-school-age
niece attended a gay-straight alliance meeting at
her Salt Lake Valley school and was then "target-
ed, recruited and indoctrinated to the extent that
she questions her beliefs that she has been taught
in her home."
Arent said, "The experience I've heard today is
not the experience we've heard from other stu-
dents. I don't think this is a bill that will accom-
plish anything in terms of helping our young peo-
Students and advisers involved with the clubs
Continued on Next Page
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02.24.06 I dallas voice I 23
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 41, Ed. 1 Friday, February 24, 2006, newspaper, February 24, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238897/m1/23/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.