Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Civil Rights Group Accuses Gov. Herbert of Bringing “Hate to the State”

KUER File Photo
Governor Gary Herbert

An LGBT civil rights organization is criticizing Utah Governor Gary Herbert for his decision to take part in the World Congress of Families this October.

This week, organizers with the World Congress of Families announced that Governor Herbert and his wife Jeanette will speak at its conference at the Grand America Hotel. The organization supports what it calls life and the natural family.

“I cannot think of another leader as prominent as Governor Herbert who has been more supportive of the family,” says conference organizer Janice Shaw Crouse, but Human Rights Campaign director Ty Cobb says the governor is hurting families by supporting a group that spreads hateful rhetoric and promotes policies that harm LGBT people.

“In those policies, it allows for a certain level of stigma, rejection and state-sponsored homophobia that marginalizes a community that faces many barriers to equality in the first place.”

Jon Cox, spokesman for Herbert said in a statement that the governor’s record is clear on the issue of non-discrimination.

“He is proud to have signed into law S.B. 296 which provides unprecedented protections for religious groups and members of the LGBT community," Cox said.  State Attorney General Sean Reyes is also expected to speak at the conference.

World Congress of Families organizers say they are not a hate group and do not aim to harm anyone.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.