UTAH – Democrats in Utah’s House of Representatives walked out in protest on Wednesday as the chamber considered a resolution rebuking critical race theory.
The walkout allowed Republicans to adopt unanimously a resolution urging the state’s Board of Education to ensure that “certain concepts” the measure associated with critical race theory are not taught in schools.
The resolution includes concepts that “one race is inherently superior or inferior to another race” and that “an individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race.”
House Speaker Brad Wilson, a Republican, said in a statement that the resolution is meant to “ensure [Utah’s] public schools teach the important issues surrounding race in our country in a respectful, appropriate, and open-minded manner.”
Democrats also objected to a separate resolution passed unanimously by Republicans, which declared the Legislature’s support for the Second Amendment and for the idea of exploring whether to designate Utah as a Second Amendment sanctuary state.
Democratic state Rep. Brian King said Democrats were “excluded from the process to such a significant degree” with regard to the two bills, adding, “We feel that the most eloquent way we can speak and the way that we can raise our voices the loudest is to walk out and not be a part of that sham process.”
The Legislature met on Wednesday for a special session, something to which Democrats expressly objected on Tuesday, saying it was not appropriate to take up critical race theory or the gun rights resolution right now, according to local CBS-affiliate KUTV.
Utah state senators also passed their own version of the critical race theory resolution the same day.
At least five states have passed measures restricting or banning critical race theory or related concepts.
The passage in the Utah House of the critical race theory resolution puts the state in a group with at least 12 others that have debated or partially passed measures to regulate, ban, or counter the teaching of critical race theory or related concepts.