SLC mayor says tea parties not reflective of societal norms

SLC mayor says tea parties not reflective of societal norms

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The mayor of Salt Lake City thinks extremist attitudes like those at some "tea parties" have no place here.

Mayor Ralph Becker is slamming tea parties. He says he was visiting with a group from Ireland who had also been to a tea party in Utah.

"They were surprised by how aggressive and mean-spirited the group was toward people who weren't just like them," Becker said.

The Irish Times quoted Mayor Becker as saying the U.S. tea party movement represents "an incredibly narrow, bigoted, angry, nasty, mean view of the world."

He clarified his comments to KSL Newsradio Monday. "Certainly everyone has the right, and we honor the right to free speech, but that does not mean that's the societal norm," he said.

"The people who come here from outside our country and visit our community and our society, we want them to know that is certainly a voice, but it's not the dominant voice or reflective of the majority of our community," he said.

He says the visiting group was interested in Salt Lake's new anti-discrimination ordinances, which he says had a small but vocal opposition at the city council meetings. The mayor says the ordinances show the city welcomes everyone.


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