Posted By Eric Ethington on July 16, 2011
Salt Lake City, Utah – BREAKING: Moments ago, Jim Dabakis became the first openly gay man to be elected to a statewide office in Utah. He is also among the first openly gay Democratic State Party Chairs nationwide.
Utah has seen two openly-gay Representatives in the State House. It has also seen an openly gay State Senator. But this is the first time an openly-LGBT person has been elected to an office by voters statewide, and it comes just 3 years after Prop 8.
“It’s an honor and a thrill [to be elected Chairman of the State Democratic Party,” says Dabakis.
From the beginning of his campaign 5 months ago, Dabakis made it clear that he did not think his sexual orientation should be an issue in the race.
“I don’t see it as a relevant factor,” he says. “I am here to do a job and do it the best I can whether I’m gay, straight, black, white or purple.”
Jim is the original co-founder of both the Utah Pride Center as well as the political advocacy group Equality Utah, and has built up a large following after his negotiations with the Mormon Church ended with them endorsing Salt Lake City’s Non-Discrimination Ordinances.
Utah still has a long way to go, but this certainly shows the great leaps and bounds it has taken within the past 2 years.
*Author’s Note: It was an honor to serve as Campaign Manager for Jim Dabakis. Good luck in the new job Jim!