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Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor sworn into office

Biskupski is not a member of the faith and said she hopes the church reconsiders the policy. After her election results were certified, she met with church officials in December and gave them a letter explaining her concerns about the policy. But Biskupski’s campaign said the meeting was largely a discussion about city issues such as air quality and economic development.

LGBT issues also didn’t define the tight race between Biskupski and incumbent Ralph Becker. Salt Lake City is a liberal island in the state where no Republican has been elected mayor in four decades. Becker, a prominent Democrat, also was seen as an ally of the city’s strong LGBT community, and the gay rights group Equality Utah endorsed both candidates.

While the mayor’s race centered more on issues such as bike lanes and billboards, LGBT activists celebrated Biskupski’s win as a milestone in the conservative state.

During the campaign and after her victory, Biskupski reflected on how the LGBT-movement had progressed in Utah since she was first elected to the state House. She said that at the time, several of her colleagues in the Legislature wouldn’t look her in the eye or shake her hand.

Biskupski served in the House until 2011. After that, she worked in the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Along with Biskupski, new Salt Lake City councilman Derek Kitchen was sworn in Monday, becoming the city’s second sitting gay councilman.

Kitchen and his husband, Moudi Sbeity, were one of three couples who sued to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

New Salt Lake City councilman Andrew Johnston and incumbent councilman Charlie Luke also were sworn in Monday.

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