SALT LAKE CITY, UT. – In a first for the heavily conservative and Mormon state of Utah, its Republican Governor Spencer J. Cox issued an official Declaration on Tuesday designating June as Pride Month in the state. Cox is believed to be the first Utah governor to issue such a proclamation honoring the LGBTQ community.
Writing on Twitter Cox said, “Here in Utah, we strive to create a culture of hope, love, understanding, and respect by celebrating our common humanity. Happy #Pride Month, Utah!” The governor then added #LetsGo #OneUtah.
Here in Utah, we strive to create a culture of hope, love, understanding, and respect by celebrating our common humanity.
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) June 1, 2021
“We must encourage relevant and vital conversations about what it means to love each other, understand our differences, and support our LGBTQ+ friends and family members,” Cox wrote in the declaration. “We can strengthen resilience in the LGBTQ+ community through family and community inclusion and by providing access to help, and giving them our support, respect, understanding, and friendship.”
Cox had made headlines in March after his statement on House Bill 302, a bill that targeted the state’s Trans youth from participating in high school and collegiate sports.
“If you have not spent time with transgender youth, then I would encourage you to pause on this issue,” Cox said. “We have so many people who are in a very difficult spot right now. And we have very few if any transgender girls participating in sports.”
“These kids are, they are just trying to stay alive. You know, there is a reason none of them are playing sports,” says the Governor. “And so, I just think there is a better way, and I hope that there will be enough grace in our state to find a better solution.”
The legislation later stalled in the Health and Human Services Committee declining to vote on HB 302 and then the Utah Legislature wrapped for this year’s session on March 5, effectively killing the bill although its sponsor, state Rep. Kera Birkeland (R-Morgan) indicated she may introduce it in a different form/version next year.
ABC News affiliate, KTVX ABC 4 also reported that long time LGBTQ activist, actor George Takei also weighed in; “This is quite moving. Bravo, sir. We need more of this compassion in politics, particularly from Republicans,” he said in a Twitter post.
Also on Tuesday, the Mayor of the Utah capital city of Salt Lake tweeted out herself and a staffer raising a Pride flag in front of City Hall.
Happy #PRIDE Month Salt Lake City! Raising the Pride flag to fly above City Hall is a favorite tradition and I’m so glad Pride Week is here to support the valuable programs of the @utahpridecenter, which are critical to our LGBTQIA community #utpol pic.twitter.com/dasLVqwMjS
— Mayor Erin Mendenhall (@slcmayor) June 1, 2021
The post LGBTQ+ Pride month in Utah declared by GOP governor appeared first on Washington Blade: LGBTQ News, Politics, LGBTQ Rights, Gay News.