If you are going to Utah, you may be seeing the return of the restaurant equivalent of a beer burka. Legislators in the heavily Mormon state have reinstated the required use of Zion curtains to separate diners from bartenders. In beer-only restaurants, bartenders will now have to be shielded from public eye.
The new requirements are contained in two bills that were so badly crafted that they have left confusion as to their application.
Since 2009, there has already been a requirement of Zion Curtains for bartenders preparing mixed drinks. In 2009, Zion Curtains were taken down in 2009, but businesses were required to have separate rooms to hide the preparation of mixed drinks. The result is quite confusing.
For many, the Zion Curtains are clearly the result of sectarian, religious values being imposed on the population — in this case to harass those who do not comply with the alcohol-free principles of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is no rational basis for this limitation as a matter of public health. These reports indicate that some businesses are considering leaving the state or at least not expanding in the state, which appears the objective of some who support the arbitrary limitations. This law is ripe for a constitutional challenge.
I love Utah, which is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and always enjoy going to Salt Lake City. I have met many liberal or libertarian Mormons who would not support such legislation, but the state remains divided on such issues. Indeed, the most notable thing in the articles on these curtains is that everyone appears to agree that the law is confusing and no one is quite sure who first demanded the changes.
Source: Salt Lake City