Martin Luther King Jr. niece weighs in on Utah license plate honoring him

Published: Monday, March 5 2012 2:16 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece weighed in on a proposal to create a Utah license plate honoring her uncle.

Alveda C. King's comments in a letter to Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, led to an amendment to HB506 that removed controversy over the bill that erupted in a House committee meeting last week.

Funds collected through the sale of the special plates could be used to promote "inalienable rights" but not "human rights" as the bill originally stated. Daw objected to the earlier language after Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Foundation chairman Roderic Land testified in committee that he supports abortion rights. The foundation would be among groups who could receive proceeds from license plate sales.

It intends to use the money for scholarships and civil rights awareness, said bill sponsor Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake.

King, a Christian minister and pro-life activist, wrote that she was "deeply disturbed" over anything connecting her uncle to abortion.

She urged lawmakers to amend HB506 "so that it is clear that not a single dollar raised by any legislation can be used to promote abortion. … Let Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy be used to promote things for which he stood — equal rights under the law for all ethnicities, brotherhood, and strengthening of the family."

The House passed the amended bill 61-10. It now moves to the Senate.

Dennis Romboy Twitter: dennisromboy

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