This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Although Utah's LGBT individuals have been frustrated at times with the Legislature's reluctance to advance civil protections for their community, the state's delegation to the Democratic National Convention proved instrumental in putting unprecedented resolutions in the party's platform specifically safeguarding those rights.
Sophia Hawes-Tingey, a transgender woman who ran unsuccessfully for the Midvale City Council last year, is one of 10 LGBT folks in Utah's 37-member delegation. She helped write and win sponsors for two resolutions seen as revolutionary in national politics and now part of the Democrats' platform.
One resolution requires insurance companies, employers and medical providers to cover health care for transgender people.
Hawes-Tingey said most providers refuse to cover procedures for transgender people going through gender transition. She said she also has been denied coverage for treatments unrelated to the transition simply because she is transgender.
A second plank bars discriminating against anyone under the argument that it would violate someone's religious beliefs.
The Utah delegate's success with those two resolutions stands in sharp contrast to the failed attempt by Utah delegate Boyd Matheson, president of the Sutherland Institute, at the Republican National Convention last week.
Opponents accused him of trying to replace a detailed platform with a one-page statement of general principles. Critics complained that the Utahn's proposal removed the platform's resolution endorsing traditional marriage as between one man and one woman.
Dems to the temple • One of the highlights for the Utah delegation to last week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland was a field trip to the nearby Kirtland Temple, built by early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 19th century.
Not to be outdone, Utah delegates to this week's Democratic gathering were treated Monday afternoon to a private tour of the Philadelphia LDS Temple, which will be hosting an open house Aug. 10 through Sept. 9, with a dedication set for Sept. 18.
Don't start without me • Another special event for the Utah delegation Monday was a private meeting that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had with delegates committed to him at the convention.
Utah overwhelmingly backs Sanders, with 29 of the 37 delegates committed to the independent Vermont senator.
There was a no-show, however. Utah Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon, a Sanders superdelegate, got stuck in traffic and missed the meeting.