McCoy is an attorney specializing in commercial, antitrust and federal securities litigation. From January 2002 to March 2003, he served as law clerk to Justice Leonard H. Russon of the Utah Supreme Court. He had previously practiced law for a Wall Street firm. He was educated at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri (B.A., 1992), George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (M.A., 1994) and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City (J.D., 2001).
McCoy was appointed to the seat by Utah Democratic Party delegates in February 2005, following the resignation of Senator Paula Julander on health grounds. He beat Julander's husband – longtime party leader Rod Julander – by 44 votes to 41 in the final selection vote. His appointment was then formalized by Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.. He ran for re-election in 2006 and faced little opposition in this reliably Democratic district, defeating his Republican opponent by more than two-to-one.
Scott McCoy is an American politician and attorney from Utah. A Democrat, he is a former member of the Utah State Senate. McCoy, who lives with his husband Mark Barr, was Utah's first-ever openly gay state senator. He and Barr, who earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah, moved to New York City in June 2011, where they got married on July 24, 2011, the first day that same-sex marriages were legal in New York. They met in 1998 when they were both twenty-somethings.
Photo by Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune .Scott McCoy and his partner Mark Barr pose for a portrait at their home in Salt Lake City Saturday December 5, 2009. Copyright: The Salt Lake Tribune
In 2004, he led the Don't Amend Alliance, the statewide campaign against a proposed amendment to Utah's state constitution regarding eligibility for marriage. His re-election campaign won the support of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
McCoy was one of four Democratic legislative sponsors of the 2009 Common Ground Initiative, the most expansive legislative push for gay rights in state history. The drive, crafted in response to statements by the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has indicated that it does not oppose some rights for same-sex couples, includes creating a statewide domestic-partner registry and protecting someone from being fired or evicted for being gay. McCoy's Common Ground bill would have amended state law so that financial dependents – besides spouses, parents and children – could sue if a breadwinner suffers a wrongful death. The measure would have benefited same-sex couples, but also other nontraditional households, such as one in which a grandmother relies on a grandson for financial support. It died early in the 2009 Legislature when it was voted down by the Senate judiciary committee, led by Republican Sen. Chris Buttars.
McCoy is also known for his wry sense of humor. After Buttars, on hearing of McCoy's appointment to the senate, asked "Who, the gay?!", McCoy quickly ordered a vanity plate for his car that read "THEGAY".
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