Utah Governor issues proclamation celebrating LGBTQ pride

SALT LAKE CITY – Governor Spencer Cox has issued a proclamation supporting LGBTQ Pride Month.

“Here in Utah, we strive to create a culture of hope, love, understanding and respect by celebrating our common humanity,” the governor said on his official Twitter account. “Happy #Pride Month, Utah!”

The proclamation itself recognizes June as LGBTQ Pride Month and encourages “conversations about what it means to love each other, understand our differences, and support our LGBTQ + friends and family.” It also recognizes higher levels of mental health issues for those who are rejected or ostracized and encourages Utah to “cultivate a climate of inclusion and unconditional love for all.”

WATCH: Pride Week kicks off in Utah with some changes

FOX 13 searched state records and found Governor Cox to be the first Governor of Utah to issue such a proclamation. He is known for his kindness to the LGBTQ community. During a vigil for the victims of the Pulse massacre in Florida, he apologized for past homophobia. He threatened to veto anti-transgender legislation during the 2021 session.

“I am truly proud of him and honored to serve alongside an executive who is ready to put his neck out there,” Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, told FOX 13 on Tuesday.

Senator Kitchen sued Governor Cox’s predecessor, Governor Gary Herbert, for the right to marry. The case went to the United States Supreme Court, which declined to hear it. After that, Governor Herbert ordered state agencies to recognize same-sex couples in government services. (Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. was in favor of LGBTQ rights and then spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage.)

Senator Kitchen said it was a sign of the advancement of LGBTQ rights in Utah.

“That being said, we still have a lot of work to do. In the last legislative session, we introduced some really hurtful and downright damaging legislation targeting trans girls in sport. We are hearing rumors that this is coming back,” did he declare. .

READ: University of Utah hosts LGBT + Pride Week

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community, welcomed the governor’s proclamation on pride.

“It’s about celebrating the diversity that exists – very strong in our capital – throughout the state of Utah,” she said in an interview with FOX 13. “And I think he’s fair and appropriate and welcome that our governor finally recognizes this. “

Other leaders of Utah’s LGBTQ community were taken by surprise by the proclamation. During an LGBTQ pride flag raising ceremony at the Salt Lake City & County Building, a crowd cheered when Utah Pride Center director Rob Moolman announced the governor’s action.

“Love it! I think this is a big step for Utah,” said Tanya Hawkins, vice president of the Utah Pride Center.

READ: Flags take different shapes to represent different LGBTQ + groups

This week, Utah will mark pride with a stripped-down festival due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Our best bet was to ensure overall security and to make sure that whatever we organize could be safe, whether restrictions may exist or not,” said Isaiah Mataele, manager of community engagement at the center.

Mayor Mendenhall said even with a smaller pride festival, the work being done to support Utah’s LGBTQ community is important.

“When you come to this festival and pay your registration fee, you can know that you are supporting programs that support Cradle to Grave. [programs] in our community in the state of Utah, ”said the mayor. “This is essential work that is not done anywhere else.

Read Governor Cox’s proclamation here:

Utah Governor’s Office

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