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Jim Dabakis, Gay Man, Elected To Head Utah’s Democratic Party

16 July 2011
by Bridgette P. LaVictoire

Jim Dabakis is the new Democratic State Party Chairman for the state of Utah. He was elected in a statewide race, making him the first openly gay man elected in a statewide race, and he is one of the first few openly lesbian or gay Democratic Party Chairs nationwide.

According to Pride in Utah, though “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.”

Dabakis stated “It’s an honor and a thrill [to be elected Chairman] of the State Democratic Party.” The campaign began five months ago, and Dabakis did not think then or now that his sexuality would be a factor. He stated “I don’t see it as a relevant factor. I am here to do a job and do it the best I can whether I’m gay, straight, black, white or purple.”

Pride in Utah also noted that “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 is a very red state making the job ahead of Dabakis daunting at best.



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