Gay rights in Utah suffers a setback. Sen. Scott McCoy still a hero

The first piece of legislation presented in Equality Utah’s Common Ground Initiative, a bill that “would have amended state law so that financial dependents – besides spouses, parents and children – could sue if a breadwinner suffers a wrongful death,” was soundly defeated in the Utah Senate judiciary committee yesterday.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports: “Sen. Scott McCoy’s SB32 would have amended state law so that financial dependents – besides spouses, parents and children – could sue if a breadwinner suffers a wrongful death. The measure would have benefited same-sex couples, but also other nontraditional households, such as one in which a grandmother relies on a grandson for financial support.

“A standing-room-only crowd listened to nearly two hours of testimony before the committee, led by Republican Sen. Chris Buttars, voted 4-2 against sending the measure to the Senate floor. Only McCoy [pictured], who is openly gay, and fellow Salt Lake City Democrat Ross Romero voted for the bill. Buttars, who was lobbied by a group of gay and bisexual activists at his West Jordan home earlier this month, didn’t comment on McCoy’s proposal during the meeting.

“Opponents likened the bill to a ‘slippery slope’ and a ‘dirty shirt’ in a laundry basket of marital rights that could lead courts to justify legalizing same-sex marriage, similar to rulings in Massachusetts, California and Connecticut.”

Image: Francisco Kjolseth / The Salt Lake Tribune

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