News (USA)

Utah lawmaker won’t seek re-election, citing hypocrisy in state legislature


Rep. Christine Johnson, one of Utah’s two openly gay lawmakers, will step down from her seat in the State House at year’s end, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

“I’m not leaving because I’m giving up on the fight in Utah,” the two-term Salt Lake City Democrat said Thursday after announcing she won’t seek re-election.

“We have so many budding leaders (in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community) that I’m anxious to see who’s going to step up next.”

As a single mom and a surrogate for a gay couple — the baby is due in June — Johnson expressed some displeasure at what she sees as hypocrisy in the Legislature.

“For the past four years, I have stood with my colleagues each morning of the session, placed my hand over my heart and pledged ‘liberty and justice for all,’ ” she said in a statement, “and yet repeatedly witnessed blatant disregard of those so in need of equal protections in the name of ‘family values.’ “

Johnson, 41, expressed satisfaction with her efforts to pass statewide gay-rights measures, which have faced universal defeat in the Legislature.

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