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UTAH IGNORES HOMEMAKERS, GROUP SAYS

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A conservative pro-family group believes Utah's leaders are shunning the interests of homemakers, but an aide to the governor said the group may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Dorothea Masur, chairwoman of the Utah Eagle Forum, issued a statement condemning state lawmakers for giving $26,200 to the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women during a recent legislative session. She said lawmakers have chosen to be anti-family, and she criticized Gov. Norm Bangerter for being too concerned about the lives of working women."On the backs of Utah's homemaker, they again prove that rhetoric about family is meaningless and the feminist is in control of the statehouse on family issues," Masur said.

Members of the group equate the women's commission with the Equal Rights Amendment and the fight to guarantee women's rights to an abortion. However, members of the commission have denied supporting those causes, saying they are concerned about issues such as equal pay for equal work.

Bud Scruggs, Bangerter's chief of staff, said the decision to fund the commission did not pit homemakers against working women.

"This is a right wing vs. mainstream issue," he said. "Gov. Bangerter is committed to bringing this state into the 21st Century, and Dorothea Masur and her group are apparently going to have to be brought kicking and screaming."

Bangerter has said he supports changes that would make life more fair for the working woman, Scruggs said.

"If acknowledging the fact that a growing number of women are entering the work force is feminist, then I guess we're all feminists in the Bangerter administration," he said.

Masur said homemakers should be irritated by the state's support for the commission.

"A homemaker, highly touted as a member of the commission, today was described to us as a grandmother who is baby-sitting her grandchild while her daughter goes to work," her statement said. "If that's the best these feminists can do to define homemaker, we should see some interesting attempts by them to justify the legislators' desire to do all things for all women, thus satisfying none."