Utah lawmakers keep 'Zion curtains' in place

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Associated Press

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 13 at 2:01 AM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A measure that would have scaled back one of Utah's offbeat liquor laws has died in the state Legislature.

Lawmakers killed a proposal to remove barriers in Utah restaurants that shield patrons from seeing servers mix and pour drinks. The barriers, known as "Zion curtains," went up in 2010 as part of a compromise after lawmakers lifted a requirement for bars to operate as members-only social clubs.

The Senate killed the barrier repeal Tuesday when it approved a replacement measure Tuesday replacing it with other minor liquor regulations.

Republican Sen. John Valentine said the move to keep the barricades stemmed from lawmakers' fear that the take-down would foster a bigger culture of drinking in Utah.

Most Utah residents belong to the Mormon church, which teaches its members to abstain from alcohol.

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