Four out of six city councilors in Salt Lake City will be LGBTQ people after this week’s election, making the group a majority on the council. The election results are being highlighted as an example of how far acceptance of queer people has come.
Utah, a red state with deep ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is not a bastion of LGBTQ rights, but the state has made remarkable strides with the blessing of the church. Salt Lake City, in particular, has led the pack.
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“LGBTQ people are severely underrepresented in governments across Utah, so holding a majority of seats on the Salt Lake City Council is a milestone moment for the city and the state. Salt Lake City is now one of just a handful of city councils in the entire country with an LGBTQ majority and the lived experiences of the LGBTQ members will ensure more inclusive policymaking,” Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said.
“While the LGBTQ members will fight tirelessly to advance equality, we know they are primarily focused on the everyday issues that will improve the lives of their constituents.”
Darin Mano and Alejandro Puy became the first out Asian American and Latinx persons on the council after winning their elections. Councilmembers Amy Fowler and Chris Wharton both won re-election.
Jackie Biskupski, the city’s former mayor who served until last year, is a lesbian. Biskupski married her wife while serving as mayor in a ceremony officiated by Kate Kendell, the former executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
There are currently only six out politicians in elected office in the entire state.