HRC Utah Announces Ally Awards

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The Human Rights Campaign Utah Steering Committee has announced that it will honor the governments of Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County with its 2010 Allies for Equality Awards for their passage of gay and transgender-inclusive housing and employment protections last year.

“We’re pleased to honor these two government bodies who have taken strong actions that constitute tangible, significant civil rights progress in Utah,” said Human Rights Campaign Utah Dinner Co-Chair and Utah Pride Center Executive Director Valerie Larabee. She called Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, and the municipalities’ employees and councilmembers “true ambassadors who work daily to elevate the protection of basic human rights and celebrate individual differences.”

In November of 2009, Salt Lake City became the first government in Utah to extend workplace and housing protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. The move came after a report from the city’s Human Rights Commission, released last July, which revealed that the majority of discrimination complaints within city limits were made on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and race.

The 2010 award recipients include Becker, his staff, members of the Human Rights Commission and the Salt Lake City Council. Salt Lake County’s recipients are Corroon, his staff, and the Salt Lake County Council’s members.

The awards, which recognize the efforts of those who dedicate “time, energy, spirit and whole-hearted commitment to better the lives of LGBT people,” will be presented at the 6th Annual HRC Utah Gala Dinner and Auction on May 8 at the Grand America Hotel. For more information about the dinner visit utah.hrc.org/dinner.

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