This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Sen. Scott McCoy is driving home a point about his nickname, "The Gay." He's putting it on his license plate.
The Salt Lake City Democrat, who is Utah's only openly gay senator, ordered a personalized license plate with his sexual orientation emblazoned on it. McCoy says he's keeping the white Ski Utah plate as a souvenir but he's not going to put it on his car.
"I think it's funny, but I don't want to reenforce that that's all I am," McCoy said Wednesday, noting he has standard plates on his vehicle now.
The term came from a Salt Lake Tribune story quoting conservative Sen. Chris Buttars' reaction to hearing that McCoy had been elected by Democrats to fill a vacant seat. "The gay?" asked a surprised Buttars, who then declined to comment. McCoy was elected by his district's Democrat delegates after former Sen. Paula Julander resigned for health reasons.
Elizabeth Solomon, who, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, fought the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles to allow the word gay on plates, said it was great that McCoy had ordered the plate.
But, she added, "he should put it on his car."
Solomon, who has a gay son and two adopted kids who are gay, has the personalized plate "GaysROK" on her car. She has offered to donate $50 to the Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Community Center for every person who orders and displays on their vehicle a plate with the word gay. Solomon says McCoy doesn't qualify unless his car is wearing it. "He's cheating," she said.