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Mayor Biskupski Proclaims 'Pride Week' In Salt Lake Ahead Of LGBTQ Celebrations

Photo of flag at city hall.
Erik Neumann / KUER
2019 marks over four decades of pride celebrations in Salt Lake City. The Utah Pride Parade is the second largest parade in the state after the Days of '47.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski proclaimed May 28 to June 2 as Pride Week in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. Her announcement kicks off a week of celebrations aimed at the LGBTQ community in the capital and beyond.

“We, as a welcoming community, are always happy to bring people in from around the Western region who don’t otherwise have a pride celebration in their neighborhoods,” said Biskupski, who is gay.

Photo of flag raising.
Credit Erik Neumann / KUER
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Utah Pride Center Executive Director Rob Moolman raised an LGBTQ pride flag at the Salt Lake City and County building on Tuesday morning.

The Salt Lake City pride festival is one of the largest in the Western United States, according to Liz Pitts, director of community engagement for the Utah Pride Center. The festival and parade each attract around 50,000 attendees, Pitts said.

The first half of 2019 has been a mix of wins and losses for Utah’s LGBTQ community.

Steps forward including the passage of a state hate crimes bill that was 20 years in the making, and changes by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints softening policies towards gay members of the church and their children. But 2019 also marked a setback for the LGBTQ community when legislation to ban gay conversion therapy failed to pass earlier this year.

Biskupski also noted that this year marks the death of Archie Archuleta and Boyer Jarvis, two prominent local activists who worked on behalf of equality in Utah.

This year marks over four decades of Pride celebrations in Salt Lake City. The festival is the primary fundraiser for the Utah Pride Center, a community organization that provides services for Utah’s LGBTQ community.

Having the support of the Salt Lake City mayor creates visibility for members of the LGBTQ community and suggests the importance of representation to people, especially in places around the region where gay and lesbian individuals aren’t in positions of leadership, according to Rob Moolman, executive director of the Utah Pride Center.

“It is also an important message to send to the leaderships in those spaces, recognizing and seeing all members of your community and recognizing the importance of what this could mean to them,” Moolman said.

Erik Neumann is a radio producer and writer. A native of the Pacific Northwest, his work has appeared on public radio stations and in magazines along the West Coast. He received his Bachelor's Degree in geography from the University of Washington and a Master's in Journalism from UC Berkeley. Besides working at KUER, he enjoys being outside in just about every way possible.
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