Legislative Coverage

LGBT Advocates Angered by Senator’s Vote

Some in the LGBT community are furious over Democratic Senator Pat Jones’ vote against a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to share parental rights for the biological child of one partner. PRIDE in Utah blogger and activist Eric Ethington calls Jones a “traitor,” saying the Senator has turned her back on her constituents.

(KCPW News) Some in the LGBT community are furious over Democratic Senator Pat Jones’ vote against a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to share parental rights for the biological child of one partner. PRIDE in Utah blogger and activist Eric Ethington calls Jones a “traitor,” saying the Senator has turned her back on her constituents. He says when Jones claims that children are better off in a traditional family, she’s either lying or incredibly misinformed.

“We can go in very easily to the fact that every bit of research that’s available says that that is not the case,” he told KCPW. “But the true issue behind it is that had nothing to do with Senate Bill 62. Whether Senate Bill 62 passed or failed would in no way influence who children were going to be living with.”

Jones has defended her vote, saying she follows the lead of her constituents and has supported the gay community in the past.

But Brandie Balken, Executive Director of Equality Utah, says she’s not surprised to see the LGBT community up in arms.

“I think that might be one of the reasons why Senator Jones is hearing so much information now, to make sure that she understands that there are LGBT families who are her constituents,” said Balken.

Jones will appear at a town hall meeting tonight at 7 at Holladay City Hall. When asked to comment on whether or not she’d address the LGBT community, she said she had already made her point clear. If Jones had supported the bill, it still would not have passed, because every Republican in the Senate committee where it was heard also voted against it.

    3 Comments

    Chris Buttars is the chair if this committee so there is no way it would have passed. I know that. I am upset with Jones because she could have at least been loyal to the party and voted for the bill, knowing full well it would never have made it out of committee. She told me that she has lesbian friends with kids and that they good parents but she still believes children are better off in a traditional family. She must not be a very good friend to these women to say that. I expected this vote from Buttars and other republicans. I feel betrayed by her vote since she is a Democrat. I have enormous respect for Luz Robles. She has honor and integrity and is fighting for those who don’t have rights in Utah.

    I completely support Senator Jones. She voted no because she felt it was the right thing to do and that it was what the majority of her district wanted. The Democrat Party is not solely the LGBT Party, there are many, larger groups within the Party (such as blue-collar workers, Latinos, etc) who are more socially conservative and thus would not support this bill. If the LGBT community would like any rights, they have to realize that moderate Democrats like Senator Jones are their best option. A more liberal candidate could make it through the primaries, but would greatly lose an election. Then you would have your real Chris Buttars. She may not ever support bills calling for Gay Marriage or Adoption Rights, but at least she’ll vote for the little things that matter; the small victories that Utah will let pass as a whole.

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