Yanked on "Queers Kick Ash" Campaign
for 6/6/04 — Updated on 7/20/04)
(posted on 7/20/04):
The "understatement of the week" below was mistakenly
attributed to Jana Kettering, spokesman for the Utah
Department of Health. It was actually
made by Jennifer Nuttall, director of adult programs for the
Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Utah.
UDOH brought this error to our
attention and appears to be part of our diverse, growing
community of interested readers.
It is now official. Under pressure, the Utah Department of
Health has cut "anti-tobacco" funding to the "Queers Kick Ash"
Marquardt, acting executive director for the Gay Lesbian
Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Utah, stated:
"This is nothing but a
homophobic cover-up. It's discrimination, pure and simple."
According to the Salt Lake
Tribune, Richard Milton, UDOH's deputy director,
"...Conceded that the
controversy caused by the center's 'provocative' messages
has Health Department officials re-examining why they
initially awarded the center the first of three potential
$100,000-a-year grants. 'I can't get into that,' he said. 'I
can just say there's a discussion going on about why it
We bet. UDOH is also the
target of citizen complaints against its recent "emergency
ruling" reinstituting taxpayer funding of abortion on
Kick Ash' campaign loses state funding," Mike Cronin, Salt
Lake Tribune, Jul. 12, 2004.
Summary: The Utah
Department of Health (UDOH) has magnanimously decided to pull its
"anti-tobacco" funding in the form of "Queers Kick Ash"
the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Utah
(Utah GLBT) a $100,000 one year renewable grant to purportedly
sponsor an anti-smoking campaign with a homosexual "theme".
Part of the "theme" involved the
dissemination of "Queers Kick Ash" T-shirts. Four
students were ultimately suspended for refusing to remove or
change their T-shirts, and funding has since been withdrawn.
Jennifer Nuttall, director of
adult programs for the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender
Community Center of Utah, wins the understatement of the
"This technically shouldn't
even have been a competitive grant. It shouldn't have
been a problem."
T-shirts fuel funding spat," Ashley Broughton, Salt
Lake Tribune, Jun. 3, 2004.
There is no indication that
Governor Olene Walker plans to take any disciplinary action
against officials at UDOH.
Accountability Utah is not particularly interested in the
private sexual practices of consenting adults, be they normal
or deviant. We become very interested, however, when groups
(or sub-groups) attempt to use government to force their
beliefs on others and to obtain special rights and
dispensations that others do not have.
In this case, the
special dispensation is taxpayer dollars to promote a
particular sexual agenda.
It is the sole
right and responsibility of parents to teach their children
about sexuality and parents should fulfill their
responsibility privately—without using government force or
settings. Discussing sexuality can be awkward and even
difficult, and some parents may indeed fail to pass on ideal
virtues and teachings to their children. But empowering the
government to assume the role of parent is to invite extreme
agendas from all sides to battle for the chance of forcing
their beliefs on others. These types of educational battles are
best left in the hands of private individuals or
recipe: Take our information and opinion, research their
information and opinion (if it is available), and then examine
the law and draw your own conclusions. If you have comments or
suggestions, please email us at