The US state of Utah’s Democratic party has elected a gay man as its chairman.

Art dealer Jim Dabakis, who has been involved in gay rights campaigning in the state, was elected on Saturday during a party convention in Salt Lake City.

He becomes the first openly gay man to lead a political party in the state.

Previously, Mr Dabakis worked with the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints to encourage officials to support new anti-discrimination ordinances.

Speaking to the Salt Lake Tribune, he said he hoped to bring the church and the political party closer together.

Another gay man, Brian Doughty, was elected to replace Representative Jackie Biskupski.

Ms Biskupski, a lesbian, resigned earlier this year.