Big news. Really big news, and it’s not that gay marriage can happen in Utah. No, it’s that the Utah Legislature can find you $2 million if it wants to. Oh, and that the Legislature thinks the Attorney General’s Office has a bunch of really bad lawyers. Indeed, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, says he’s inclined to ask for the funds, and House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, says she wants the best that money can buy. Hey, wasn’t that John Swallow? Now that bribery’s off the table, the Legislature has to look elsewhere for someone competent to fight against happily wedded people of the same sex. You might ask where the new AG, Sean Reyes, was when they were dissing his office, but then, he’s in humble mode, having just been appointed. Still, the news is good. Money can be had. You just have to play the politics.
Meanwhile, an informal and unscientific Facebook poll addressed the issue of how to spend that $2 million the Legislature needs to fight Judge Robert Shelby’s decision. Oddly, the poll never got close to mentioning the fight against same-sex marriage. Snarky comments aside, the list included: transitional housing, ongoing special-ed funding, free public transportation and an analysis of mass-transit needs, setting up a charitable foundation like the Greater Good, cleaning up the air, amending the political-nominating process, changing campaign-finance laws, and expanding Medicaid. Those are issues that apparently are not on the Legislature’s list of legal priorities.Â
Punishment. This seems to be the byword of the Republican Party in Utah. Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, wants public-school parents to sign contracts about their rights and responsibilities. Of course, home-schoolers and private-school parents would be exempt because they presumably know their rights and responsibilities. Everyone else is confused or disengaged from their children’s education. The presumption, of course, is that parents who choose to homeschool or privately educate their kids are choosing the righteous path and need not be overseen. Public-ed parents would face prosecution if, for instance, they couldn’t pay for tutoring or they missed too many parent-teacher conferences. Sure, parental involvement is a hard nut to crack, but this is just a broken solution.