Gay-rights supporters stage 'Buttars-Palooza'

Published February 23, 2009 5:45 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's not a rally or a protest. It's a party.

Or so says the tag line for "Buttars-Palooza," a festival planned for Saturday in response to Sen. Chris Buttars' recent headline-grabbing anti-gay rant.

"It's a celebration of the fact that we are all Utahns," said co-organizer Michael Mueller. "It's a celebration of our diversity.

In a documentary-film interview released last week, Buttars, a West Jordan Republican, likened members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] community to Muslim radicals and called the group the "greatest threat to America."

Mueller said Saturday's event, which runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the Utah Capitol's south lawn, will highlight other issues that he says pose greater threats: the economic recession, racial injustice and environmental crises, to name a few.

The festival, named in the tradition of music festival Lollapalooza, also will feature live music and a D.J.

Organizers had hoped to hold the event in Buttars' hometown, but West Jordan city parks are closed to events from November through March.

-- Rosemary Winters