On a national level the political party coined as the “Grand Old Party,” thanks to President Donald J. Trump and Mitch McConnell, is an utter mess. Even though he claimed to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community in the United States, Trump’s actions since he has been in office show otherwise.
However, a political race in Utah may change the way people see the Republican Party. On May 21, 2020, Equality Utah hosted a GOP Equality Forum and for the first time, all four of the Republican candidates (Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, former U.S. ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr, and Thomas Wright) running for the GOP nomination for Utah governor participated. Furthermore, each of the four candidates committed to an involvement to embrace LGBTQ+ perspectives in potential policies concerning the community.
In the forum’s introduction, Equality Utah’s executive director, Troy Williams remarked, “This is a huge milestone for Utah. This wouldn’t have happened eight years ago. This wouldn’t have happened four years ago.”
The first candidate in the GOP Equality Forum was Utah’s lieutenant governor, Spencer Cox. Cox talked about how a friend of his who was a reporter influenced his evolution on LGBTQ issues when the friend came out to him when he was running for Utah House of Representatives.
“I didn’t know he was gay. He came out to me that night,” Cox explained, “and he said, ‘I want you to think very carefully about me when you are making those decisions. It kind of a stunning moment for two reasons. One, again, I didn’t know and two, I hadn’t thought that much about it from kind of a policy standpoint. I was a county commissioner before that and a mayor and never really dealt with those issues. But he knew that coming into the legislature, I would be, and I would say that was a really important leaping point, I guess, for me.
During the video, which is below, Williams talked to candidates about their background concerning LGBTQ rights. The Utah GOP Primary originally scheduled March 3 will take place on June 30, 2020.
Source: Equality Utah YouTube Channel,