Friday, September 3, 2010

GOP Nominates Openly Gay Man for UTAH State Senate

Isn't this one a shocker. In Utah of all places, headquarters of the infamously anti-gay Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), the Republicans have nominated an openly gay, pro-equality man to run for State Senate. 

Mel Nimer, currently the President of the Utah Log Cabin Republicans is the GOP nominee, going against pro-LGBT Democrat Senator Ben McAdams.

EDGE Boston reports...
A gay-friendly Utah state senator who stepped in to finish the term of a fellow Democrat who left office early now faces an openly gay Republican opponent for his seat in the state’s legislative body. In a further twist, the Democrat who left office early was also gay. 

The saga began when Utah’s first openly gay state senator, Scott McCoy, stepped down late last year. His successor is state Sen. Ben McAdams, 35, who now faces a gay Republican, Melvin Nimer, 60, who is also the head of the state’s branch of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP group.

McAdams was initially expected to face a different Republican opponent, Nancie Lee Davis; however, Davis missed a filing deadline and was disqualified. It was at that point that Nimer stepped in, reported Utah news publication the Deseret News on Sept. 2.

Nimer expressed no intention of playing down his sexuality; quite the opposite, in fact. "Definitely, I’ll have that [gay] card to play, if you will," Nimer told the media. "Luckily, it’s a fairly liberal district." Questions of sexual orientation aside, Nimer opined that a GOP lawmaker would be able to relate more readily to colleagues in state government. ""As good as Sen. McCoy was and Sen. McAdams is, being Democrats, they don’t have as much influence as a Republican would have," Nimer told the media.

Though not gay himself, McAdams, who is Mormon, has won the support of the state’s GLBT community, and is seen as friendly toward the cause of GLBT equality.
Personally I think this is a wonderful opportunity for LGBT people in Utah. Because Utah is an extremely conservative state, there is really no chance that it would swing into Democratic hands based upon one district, thus, an openly gay member of the GOP in the Senate would be a much better asset to our community than a Democrat ever would be. 

Though I am not a Republican by a long shot, I feel that strategically the LGBT community must support Mel Nimer for State Senate. Though we might not like to admit it, when the LGBT community has GOP members on our side, we win hands down. 

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