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Whether Sen. Chris Buttars "lied" or misspoke about his interview with a documentary film crew could come down to what he meant by the word "they."
The West Jordan Republican told KUTV Channel 2 this week that he was "deceived" by filmmaker Reed Cowan and his crew.
Cowan is showing his documentary, "8: The Mormon Proposition," about the LDS Church's role in banning gay marriage in California, at the Sundance Film Festival. In it, Buttars rips the gay community as "probably the greatest threat to America."
But Buttars told KUTV he was tricked.
"They come in wearing BYU T-shirts and talking about [LDS] missions," Buttars said on TV. "I was very carefully deceived."
Cowan told KUTV that his photographer, David Daniels, did wear a BYU jacket -- because Daniels is a graduate of the school. But Cowan and the others were not wearing BYU logos. (Cowan is a Utah State Aggie.)
Perhaps, some have wondered, Buttars was referring to Daniels or generalizing. Buttars told The Salt Lake Tribune he had "no comment" on the latest dust-up with Cowan.
In a brief interview Tuesday with The Tribune , Cowan did not mention that one of his crew members was sporting the BYU jacket.
When Buttars said "they," Cowan said Wednesday, "everyone who hears that thinks Reed Cowan was wearing a BYU jacket and that I deceived and disguised."
So Cowan called on Buttars to resign from the Utah Senate for being a "liar."
Cowan, who is openly gay, added that if he spoke to Buttars about serving an LDS mission, it was because the filmmaker did serve a mission.
"Is Senator Buttars so naive," Cowan said, "to think that when someone talks about being a missionary, they're not gay? I have news for him, there are a lot of gay returned missionaries."
Regardless of what anyone was wearing, Cowan noted, it doesn't change what Buttars said. (He also called gays "the meanest buggers" and gay families "combinations of abominations.")
"Is [Buttars] saying it was OK to talk that way," Cowan asked, "because he thought we were BYU students?"