McCoy is more than just the gay senator

By By Anne Looser

By Anne Looser

A s of Feb. 7, both my statesenator and my staterepresentative are openlyqueer, and I am damn proud ofit.Fortunately for me, my newstate senator, Scott McCoy, DSaltLake City, is more than justqueer. He is a highly educated,experienced and well-roundedoffice holder.When the delegates in Senate2nd District elected SenatorMcCoy, the headlines allreferred to his record as a “gayactivist.”The articles neglected topaint a complete picture of thesenator and instead focusedon his recent political workas the campaign manager forthe Don’t Amend Alliance,which campaigned to defeatAmendment 3.These stories nearlydisregarded several of thesenator’s greatest contributionsto the community.For instance, Senator McCoyserves as the Chairpersonof the Salt Lake City PoliceCivilian Review Board. On theSalt Lake City Web site, MayorRocky Anderson explains howthe Review Board assuresthat “allegations of policemisconduct will be investigatedindependently and objectivelyby an independent investigatorand volunteer Board members,with the assistance of a personwith extensive prior policeexperience.”As a graduate from theCardozo School of Law, heis a member of the localand national American CivilLiberties Union. He also has amaster’s degree in InternationalAffairs from George WashingtonUniversity.Senator McCoy sounds likea pretty liberal, tunnel-visionkind of legislator until you readfurther down his rsum. Heworked on Bob Dole’s presidentialelection campaign in 1996.He worked as a staffaide to the U.S. House ofRepresentatives AgricultureCommittee, where he servedboth the Democrats andRepublicans (the majority in theHouse changed from Democratto Republican in 1994).He later worked as thelegislative liaison to theAgriculture AppropriationsSubcommittee for Rep.Tom Lathum, R-Iowa. Thisexperience has already come inhandy on the hill here in Utah,where he sits on the SenateNatural Resources, Agricultureand Environment Committee.As he sat down for hisfirst committee meeting, heassured the other senators thathe knew about these issues,referencing the years he’d spentworking with the AgricultureCommittee in the U.S. House ofRepresentatives.And believe it or not, SenatorMcCoy’s legislative prioritiesgo far beyond gay issues. Whenasked what he really wanted towork on while on the hill, hesaid campaign finance reform.He wants to see Utah set atarget for energy to be producedthrough renewable resources.He also carried on efforts topass Sen. Paula Julander’s,whom McCoy replaced in theLegislature, “pill bill” that wouldrequire insurance companies tocover birth control.Beyond this, he spoke aboutthe need to encourage the use ofseat belts, citing public safety asthe over arching motivation.As a liberal myself, I alwayslike to see the underdog win. Inthis case, I recognize my newunderdog senator as so muchmore. He is to be admired forperseverance, hard work andintelligence.It is a real shame that Sen.McCoy has already been labeled”the gay” senator, especiallyconsidering the fact that heis so much more. Salt LakeCity residents should considerthemselves lucky to have such acapable man serving [email protected]