Utah county GOP official resigns after criticizing equal pay bill

Story highlights

  • James Green, vice chair of the Wasatch County GOP, argued against mandating equal pay
  • Green argued that it was not the role of the government to "dictate to businesses what they should pay"

Washington (CNN)A Utah county Republican Party official has resigned after receiving blowback for criticizing a bill in the state legislature designed to create equal pay criteria.

James Green, vice chair of the Wasatch County GOP, wrote a letter to the editor published in the Wasatch Wave and The Park Record on Wednesday in which he argued against requiring equal pay because "if businesses are forced to pay women the same as male earnings, that means they will have to reduce the pay for the men they employ."
The letter argues that it is not the role of the government to "dictate to businesses what they should pay" and said "traditionally, men have earned more than women in the workplace because they are considered the primary breadwinners for families. They need to make enough to support their families and allow the mother to remain in the home to raise and nurture the children."
Green later apologized for the remarks and decided Friday that he was resigning his position.
"I didn't mean it to be demeaning to anyone with my letter," Green told CNN in an email Saturday evening. "Quite unfortunate that some took this wrong. I'm one of the strongest supporters of women in the nation."
He said he has been "shocked by the virulent reaction" he has received and said his argument was with the legislation, not the premise of equal pay for women.
"I still feel government should not dictate to private establishments what they must do. I guess people don't want to understand these basic issues," he wrote.
The bill, S.B. 210, would require "certain employers in the state to adopt and disclose to each employee uniform criteria that the employer uses to determine whether to change an employee's compensation or benefits based on the employee's performance," among other things.