What the hell is going on in Utah? I regularly make fun of my home state of Indiana by comparing them to the "backwards hick states" that folks there talk about with the "Well, thank God we're not from..." attitude. But Utah has a new gay state party chair and a new gay legislator? The home of the Mormons? Hell, Indiana's just the home of the rednecks!
Delegates at the Democratic state convention voted overwhelmingly, by 528-71, to elect Jim Dabakis as state party chairman. Dabakis, an art dealer and a founder of a founder of Equality Utah and The Utah Pride Center, ran against Robert Comstock, a political activist and middle school wood shop teacher.
Delegates also voted, narrowly, to put Brian Doughty, a small-business owner, in the legislative seat vacated by Jackie Biskupski.
With Doughty's election, Utah's gay community will continue to have at least one voice on the Hill. Biskupski, who resigned in June because she moved out of her district, was the last openly gay lawmaker in Utah. But Doughty, who lives near Liberty Park with his partner, served on the board of directors of Equality Utah until recently when he resigned to pursue the House District 30 seat.
Interestingly enough, the head of National Stonewall Democrats, Michael Mitchell, is the former Executive Director of, wait for it... Equality Utah. So is Utah the new gay political promised land?