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Gay Man to Run for Utah Democratic Chair

Gay Man to Run for Utah Democratic Chair

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Jim Dabakis has filed to run for Utah Democratic Party chairman.

The Salt Lake Tribunereports on the ambitions of the art dealer and cofounder of the Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah, the only candidate so far to file. Current chairman Wayne Holland Jr. has not stated whether he plans to run again.

"Dabakis was part of the 'gang of five,' a group of LGBT leaders who quietly met with the LDS Church in 2009 to discuss the church's potential support of anti-discrimination ordinances in Salt Lake City," reports the Tribune. "Through a series of meetings, mutual trust and understanding grew between the "gang" and mid-level church officials. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which staunchly opposes gay marriage, surprised many when, in November 2009, it gave a whole-hearted endorsement to Salt Lake City's ordinances, which forbid housing and employment discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity."

Dabakis, 58, said his goals as chairman would include electing a U.S. senator, governor, and Democratic-controlled legislature. Philanthropist Bruce Bastian will help him by hosting a reception this Sunday in Salt Lake City.

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