No sensitivity and using public property

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

With Total Lack of Political Sensitivity Utah’s Senate Decides to Affect the Lives of 250,000 CitizensBy Antonio Arce

I sat down to listen to the vote on HB227. I have always had great respect for political leaders, even though I was now only in room 135 of the Utah Senate watching the events unfold on closed circuit television.

The video camera immediately zoomed in on Senate President John L. Valentine who called the session to order. At that moment I thought about all the decisions senators make over time, and how they affect thousands of people’s lives. The power vested in them is sacred, you cannot take this power lightly, much less use it for personal use, for family, or for friends.

I was therefore very surprised when the Senate President called on a young man to address the floor of the senate. I was even more surprised when I heard the words “…I have something to say to my sweet heart, would you marry me?” After hearing the “yes” form his wife to be, the Senate President, Mr. Valentine, called everyone’s attention saying, “…by the way, read the board”. There too were he words “WOULD YOU MARRY ME”. The sacred floor of the senate and public property were being used for a young man’s personal interest in a marriage proposal. All along, the young man received support and encouragement from present senators. You could clearly hear the warm applause of approval.

The Senate President invited the parents of the bride to join in the private celebration as the applause continued on the floor. As it was apparent that the President might loose control of the celebration, he once again called the floor to order. The party was over. The same people who applauded the “yes” from the bride, five minutes later decided with another “yes” to affect the lives of 250,000 people. This time, however, without emotion and almost without words, 21 of the senators said “yes”. With that they sealed the fate of thousands of my co-citizen’s lives. Then, as if nothing had happened, they moved to the next item on that afternoon’s agenda.

I was the first out of room 135. I could not believe what I had just witnessed. Using public property in a celebratory prelude, void of any sensitivity, the senators had just decided the destiny of my people. It is sad to recall the day’s abuse on our Hispanic people as well as on the community as a whole.

Somewhere in the city there is a bride who celebrates a yes “yes” that was offered, of all places, on the senate floor. In many other places of this same city there are hearts broken by another “yes” from that same room. My co-citizens will loose their driver’s license.

Antonio Arce from Logan, Utah