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Activists and
lawmakers rally for gay student clubs in Utah

Activists and
lawmakers rally for gay student clubs in Utah

About 300 people gathered at the state capitol on Monday to oppose efforts to ban gay clubs in the state.

Roughly 300 people, mostly teenagers and young adults, gathered at a rally in Salt Lake City on Monday to express their support for gay student clubs and to oppose efforts by state lawmakers to ban them. As well as wearing blue "Equality" buttons and yellow tape in the shape of an equal sign on their backs, some carried homemade signs that read "I Love and Support My Gay Son" and "Equality--a Fair and Just Utah!" the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The rally at the state capitol was in part a response to legislation proposed by state senator Chris Buttars, which would allow school districts to ban student clubs that deal with sexuality, including gay-straight alliances. Some at the rally handed out fliers that read "Why is Chris Buttars obsessed with gay sex?" Buttars's bill is awaiting a house vote.

Scott McCoy, a Salt Lake City Democrat and the state's only openly gay senator, spoke to the crowd. "This is family day at the legislature," he said, adding that gay families deserve the same respect by lawmakers and protection by the law. A.J. Barney, a gay college freshman, said he would have loved to have had a gay-straight alliance in high school. "It would have been nice to have people support me for who I was instead of who I was pretending to be," Barney said. (

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