The entire citizen-driven push to earn HB1624 a hearing culminated in the House of Representatives as the bill was recalled from the House Judiciary Committee. The motion to recall is a privilege provided during the 1978 Constitutional Convention to prevent the tyranny of the majority. Using the motion to recall, a minority of 17 representatives can recall a bill from a committee that refuses to hear it. In this case, the committee’s chairperson (Rep. Karl Rhoads) refused to grant a hearing despite the unprecedented citizen push to earn the bill a hearing. The motion to recall would have prevented the bill from dying due to an internal legislative deadline (the “First Lateral” deadline).
While only seventeen votes were necessary to rescue HB1624 from the House Judiciary Committee, eighteen votes to recall the measure were recorded. Given voting patterns, support might have been closer to 21 (Awana, Cachola and Carroll, who also voted against SB1, were absent from floor debate late in the afternoon). Interestingly, the Capitol website fails to list specific names that resulted from the roll call vote on the motion to recall.
Additionally, television, print and internet news sources are silent on the unprecedented push for HB1624.
As a demonstration of power, the majority motioned to recommit the bill back to the House Judiciary Committee. The motion to recommit succeeded and HB1624, despite 2500 emails of support, is now dead. The tyranny of the majority has been perpetuated. As the body gavelled out, House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke could be seen from the gallery gesticulating menacingly at representatives who supported HB1624 suggesting some sort of retribution. If any of the eighteen representatives who supported HB1624 would care to share Sylvia Luke’s threatening remarks, this blog would be interested in hearing and sharing them.
It is not clear why the majority in the House of Representatives continues to privilege some minority groups (via SB1) but continues to oppress other minorities like people of faith. What is clear is that government no longer works for the people – by oppressing minority voices, and by failing to grant hearings to good legislation while simultaneously advancing bad legislation to further personal agendas. The only good thing to come from the untimely death of HB1624 are those who are willing to stand up for people of faith, and for religion. It is now clear who our friends are.
It is time to hold our elected officials accountable. Despite 2500 emails in support of granting HB1624 a hearing, leaders remained obstinate and refused to grant the minority a voice in the Legislature. If your representative did not support the recall of HB1624, call or email them and find out for yourself why they did not represent your interests on HB1624. If your representative supported the recall of HB1624 so that people of faith would be protected, please contact them and let them know you support them and their actions.