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Openly gay Utah state senator announces his resignation

Thursday, December 3, 2009
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Utah’s first openly gay state senator will be resigning from office effective the end of this week to focus more time on practicing law, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Scott McCoy

Scott McCoy

Democratic state Sen. Scott McCoy, announced Tuesday that he had already decided that he wasn’t going to seek re-election when his term is up next year. In addition, he has a two-month-long trial scheduled to start in February, which may be out-of-state, and he thought it would not be fair to leave his constituents without representation.

“If I want to be a partner in my law firm, I need to be a full-time lawyer and not a part-time lawyer and part-time legislator,” he said.

McCoy was appointed to the state senate in 2005 to replace Sen. Paula Julander.

He unsuccessfully sponsored several pieces of legislation aimed at preventing housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and extending wrongful death benefits to designated partners.

McCoy sought to reform the Legislature’s ethics process and make revisions to Utah’s liquor laws. But he also utilized his legal background to argue against legislation that he opposed.

“We feel Senator McCoy was not just an advocate for the [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community, but for Utahns as a whole,” said Brandie Balken, executive director of Equality Utah.

She said his service helped to break down stereotypes and the group is confident that whoever replaces him will also represent the LGBT community.

McCoy said his resignation is not an end to his political career and he might run for office in the future if the opportunity arises.

Full story at The Salt Lake Tribune.

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