This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
This month, Utah's first openly gay lawmaker, Jackie Biskupski, resigned her seat in House District 30. At one time, Utah had three LGBT legislators, but now that number has dwindled to zero.
Six candidates are running in a special election, which will be decided on July 16 Democratic delegates in District 30. Two of the candidates, Nikki Boyer and Brian Doughty, are openly gay. Boyer is board president of the Utah Pride Center and a past president of the Utah Stonewall Democrats. Doughty serves on the board of Equality Utah. (The other four candidates are Charles Kimball, William McDonnell, Dimitri Moumoulidis and Mark Towner.)
Equality Utah, which is not making an endorsement in the race, does not believe Biskupski's replacement needs to be someone who is LGBT, said executive director Brandie Balken.
"It's most important to Equality Utah that the person who takes that seat is a fair-minded candidate and will continue the powerful work of advocacy that Jackie Biskupski has done," Balken said Wednesday.
Eric Ethington, a District 30 resident and LGBT-rights activist and blogger, told The Salt Lake Tribune earlier this month that he wants to see a member of the LGBT community serving on Capitol Hill.
"We have a lot of LGBT allies in the Legislature," he said. "They're just amazing people, but you need someone who can actually represent each community of interest, and if there is no one up there who knows personally what it feels like to be a member of the community, then it really doesn't do anybody any good."