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State Sen. Steve Urquhart, James Huntsman join LGBT advocacy group

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FILE: A state senator, Steve Urquhart, and a member of a prominent Utah family have joined the board of directors of the gay rights advocacy group Equality Utah.

FILE: A state senator, Steve Urquhart, and a member of a prominent Utah family have joined the board of directors of the gay rights advocacy group Equality Utah.

Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A state senator and a member of a prominent Utah family have joined the board of directors of the gay rights advocacy group Equality Utah.

Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, and James Huntsman, son of industrialist and philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr., along with the organization's co-founder, Michelle Turpin, were named to the board Monday.

"I'm thrilled to be involved with an organization who represents the marginalized in our society," Huntsman said in a news release. "We all must work together to bring equal rights and treatment to our entire diverse community."

Huntsman worked at the family chemical company, Huntsman Corp., for 20 years and is now a partner in Blue Fox Entertainment, a global film sales company.

Urquhart, who is not seeking re-election after serving in the Legislature since 2001, played a key role in lawmakers passing laws balancing religious freedom and protecting LGBT Utahns from discrimination in housing and employment.

"As a senator, I have loved working with Equality Utah to promote civil rights for all Utahns," he said. "We've made progress, but the promise of liberty and justice is not yet a reality for LGBTQ Utahns. There is more to do."

Urquhart and his wife, Sara, recently moved to Salt Lake City.

Turpin, a tax attorney, helped found Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center.

Board chairwoman Maria Gomberg said the board thrives because of the diversity, expertise, perspectives and experiences of its members.