On the same day the Utah Legislature voted down the last of five gay rights bills, Salt Lake City-based KTVX, an ABC affiliate, aired audio clips of Utah Senator Chris Buttars calling the gay rights movement "probably the greatest threat to America."
The senator's comments added insult to injury as Utah gay rights activists mourned the legislative loss of five groundbreaking gay rights bills called the Common Ground Initiative, the last of which was rejected on Wednesday.
The Republican senator made his strong statements in an interview conducted with filmmaker Reed Cowan for an upcoming documentary titled 8: The Mormon Proposition.
The ABC affiliate received permission to air several audio clips from the documentary.
In his interview, Buttars, a practicing Mormon, calls gays "mean" and likens them to terrorists.
"They're mean. They want to talk about being nice. They're the meanest buggers I have ever seen."
"It's just like the Muslims," he adds, moments later. "Muslims are good people and their religion is anti-war. But it's been taken over by the radical side."
Buttars' views on gays parallel those of Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern. Last year, the preacher's wife turned politician created a firestorm of protest when she said the gay community is "the death knell in the country" and "the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam." Despite the protests, the Republican managed to win re-election on Nov. 4.
On the subject of gay marriage, Buttars says the institution is the beginning of the end: "What are the morals of a gay person? You can't answer that because anything goes."
Gay rights activist Jacob Whipple, founder of the All For One Initiative, called for the resignation of the senator on Wednesday.
"He basically labeled my community as virtually the devil incarnate," Whipple told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I don't think that he represents Utah any more. ... Saying something so hurtful has no place on the hill."
The ABC affiliate also reports that Buttars goes further - much further - discussing a certain type of gay sexual activity the details of which the broadcaster says would be inappropriate for it to air.