What is House Speaker Dave Clark implying about Salt Lake City?
Clark, a Republican from Santa Clara, told KCPW's Jeff Robinson that an anti-discrimination policy in Salt Lake City might break a compromise between the city and the Legislature:
“If Salt Lake City wants to re-write that agreement, then I think that the Legislature will, once again – as we’ve already had an agreement, it’s not the state that’s changing it – there would probably be an interest to see what we could do to work something out appropriately,” [Clark] said. (emphasis added)
The alleged compromise or "agreement" was supposedly reached during the 2008 session when Sen. Chris Buttars tried to outlaw Salt Lake City's domestic partnership registry. Other legislators, like I'm-on-a-cruise-so-I'm-not-yet lieutenant governor Greg Bell, another Republican, won the day and merely demanded that the registry be renamed a "mutual commitment" registry. The registry lets employees designate someone to share their employee benefits, like health insurance. Businesses use the registry only voluntarily. One can designate mom, auntie, special needs sister, or anyone else with whom the employee is mutually dependent, including one's same-sex partner. Lots of people benefit, but the gay community was pushing it, do not be mistaken.
I was amazed when the Legislature let that thing live. I'm generally pessimistic about the Utah Legislature's commitment to, *ahem, the "gay agenda." So it's almost believable, perhaps, that Salt Lake City made some deep promise to keep the registry alive.
But I read a lot of the news last year about the negotiations surrounding the mutual commitment registry and did a quick reread of a few of the major articles again today. I don't see any mention of a grand compromise in which any legislator said, "Ok, you can have your registry, but no more gay stuff, ok?" If there was some secret/unpublished agreement in which the city made concessions, let's hear it.