Two Utahns to Receive Pride Festival Awards

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During the Utah Pride Festival Utahns Stan Penfold and Rep. Carol Spackman Moss will receive two prestigious service awards from the Utah Pride Center.

Earlier this month, Valerie Larabee, Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center, named Penfold as the recipient of the 2008 Dr. Kristen Ries Community Service Award and Spackman Moss as the recipient of the 2008 Pete Suazo Political Action Award.

Also a board member of the Utah Nonprofits Association and the Utah Department of Health Community Planning Committee, Penfold has worked tirelessly as an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and education in his nine years at UAF. He also serves as a professional mentor with the Fieldstone Foundation, an association of companies that specialize in home building and provide grants and services to nonprofit organizations that offer assistance to people living in Salt Lake City, among other areas.

Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake City, nominated Penfold for this year’s award and a committee of past Dr. Kristen Ries Community Service Award recipients selected him. The award is named in honor of Dr. Kristen Ries, a Utah doctor who courageously served Utah HIV/AIDS patients beginning in the early 80s, when few health care practitioners were willing to work with them.

Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, was nominated for the Pete Suazo Political Action Award for her sponsorship of HB 325 Bullying and Hazing Prohibitions in this year’s general legislative session. Drafted by local gay rights group Equality Utah, the bill was aimed at creating uniform standards for Utah schools to use in addressing bullying and hazing . Although the bill initially faced  criticism for what some Representatives called its broad language, an amended version of it was passed in the last days of the session and Gov. Jon Huntsman later signed it into law. Representatives from a number of local gay political organizations incuding the Utah Stonewall Democrats, Utah Log Cabin Republicans, Equality Utah, the Human Rights Campaign and the Utah Pride Center nominated Spackman Moss as this year’s recipient.

The award is named for the late Sen. Pete Suazo, a Latino Utah politician who advocated for minority issues and who drafted the state’s first hate crimes bill in 1997. The controversial was routinely defeated in the legislature for a number of years. In 2006 a hate crimes bill without protections for gay or transgender people passed both houses.

“The winners of these awards inspire and challenge all of us to reach for the goals and ideals we most cherish,” said Fran Pruyn, Festival Co-Chair and Utah Pride Center Board Member. “Their efforts to keep Utah’s communities healthy and our schools safe are truly deserving of recognition.”

The awards will be presented at the Utah Pride Festival’s Grand Marshal Reception, honoring Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and members of the City Council as the 2008 Grand Marshals at 6:00pm on Friday, June 6 at Trofi in the Hilton Salt Lake Center. Recipients will also be honored on Saturday, June 7 at the Utah Pride Festival’s opening ceremonies and again on Sunday, June 8 at the Utah Pride Parade. For tickets to these and all Utah Pride Festival events visit utahpride.org.

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