SNAP: Ben McAdams vs. Mel Nimer
Utah’s State Senate District 2 has been boggling out-of-staters for nearly a year now. Last December, they were shocked to learn that the seat was not only in a Democratic district, but also respresented by an openly gay man, Scott McCoy. Then they were shocked that a straight but gay-friendly Mormon, Ben McAdams, took over. And now they’re shocked that a gay non-Mormon Republican, Mel Nimer, is seeking McAdams’ job (remember, most Americans think Utah is only good for polygamy and incoherent alcohol laws). While it’s always funny to watch people learn and re-learn that gay Utahns exist and that they sometimes do things other than be oppressed, the McAdams/Nimer race is interesting for a number of reasons. While it shows that Utah’s queer and allied community is diverse, it also shows that Democrats and Republicans can agree on fundamental questions about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. And that Utah’s Republican Party is willing to front an openly gay candidate — albeit in a heavily blue district. Still, if this signals a more gay-friendly turn in Utah’s GOP, we’re all for it.
SNAP: Turner Bitton
At just 19, Turner Bitton has accomplished a lot for Utah’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Now, along with several friends, he’s started a chapter of Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays for Layton residents. Like many parts of the state, Northern Utah doesn’t have nearly enough resources for queer residents and their families, making the need for such a group all the more dire. May the chapter’s promising start be the beginning not only of a long existence, but the beginning of giving Northern Utah’s queer and allied community all the help they need.