Just when you thought that the liquor laws in Mormon-dominated Utah could not possibly get any dumber, along comes Bobbie Coray. Coray is a liquor control commissioner with the Utah Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission who, not surprisingly, doesn’t drink. During a recent commission meeting, Coray questioned the effectiveness of the “Zion Curtain,” a glass partition between bartenders and customers which is mandated by Utah law and is intended to “satisfy Mormons whose faith eschews alcohol.” The problem, it seems, is that the Zion Curtain doesn’t actually obscure the Medusa-like beverages from the hyper-sensitive eyes of Mormons who might be turned to stone by the mere sight of a bottle of Don Julio. So, this modern day Perseus has suggested that the Zion Curtain be transformed into a Booze Burqa which will obscure the alcohol from view and save the retinas of countless Mormons.
Comparisons to the heavy-handedness of moralizing, middle-eastern theocracies are too obvious and easy to dwell upon. But it is hard to ignore the fact that the reddest state in the nation, a state which more so than any other supports George Bush’s push for “freedom” in Iraq, is the very same state that, for reasons of religion, continues to restrict the freedom of its residents, particularly those who are not members of the predominant faith. And, the really sad and ironic thing is that while it is becoming increasingly less difficult to get a drink in Iraq, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to get one in the State of Deseret.